Curator’s Choice

And Now The Fighting Fourth

Norman Rockwell, American, 1894-1978
U.S. War Department

H 13 7/8 in. x W 9 5/8 in.
Museum Purchase

He was only 24 years old at the time, but Norman Rockwell, one of America’s most beloved illustrators, was already making a name for himself. He contributed his talents and unmistakable style to a promotional poster to help raise money for the war effort. And Now the Fighting Fourth refers to the Fourth Liberty Loan Campaign, which was launched in September, 1918 by the Women’s Liberty Loan Committee of New England.

The poster shows a young boy showing off the badges he has collected from various donors to the drive. The Knights of Columbus is represented by the small brass insignia “K of C” that appears on the youth’s shirt pocket (lower right.)

The loan campaign opened officially September 28 and ran until mid-October – yet its effect was enormous. A total of 22,777,680 subscribers offered some $6,992,927,100.

The Columbiad, the Order’s monthly magazine, urged members to subscribe to the drive in an October, 1918 editorial. “…Every member who purchases a bond is not only a bond purchaser. He is a Knight of Columbus throwing himself still deeper into the fight. He is helping to carry on the war work...”