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Manuscripts by Subject - Groups / Organizations- #10084

Title: North Dakota War Chest, Incorporated Records. Bismarck, North Dakota

Dates: 1943-1946

Collection Number:   10084

Quantity:  3 volumes

Abstract:  Consists of three volumes of the organizations official records and its newsletter relating to fundraising efforts during World War II for foreign relief organizations and war service organizations within the state.

Provenance:   Unknown

Property Rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access:  This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation:  Researchers are requested to cite the record group, series name and number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


The North Dakota War Chest served as the state representative of the National War Fund, which had been created in February, 1943, to coordinate the fundraising activities of the numerous war-related agencies and foreign relief organizations which were formed after the entry of the United States into World War II. It was organized as a non-profit corporation under the sponsorship of the North Dakota State Defense Council and received its corporate charter on July 16, 1943. Governor John Moses, as Chairman of the Defense Council, notified the seven original directors of their appointments and presided at their first meeting in Bismarck on July 22, 1943.

Headquarters were established in hearing rooms adjacent to the House Chamber in the State Capitol building at Bismarck. Dr. Harry A. Brandes of Bismarck was appointed President and served in that capacity on a voluntary basis, during the full period the War Chest was in existence. The agency was governed by a Board of Directors made up of the seven original directors plus one director from each of the state's fifty-three counties. An Executive Committee of five members was empowered to fulfill all the functions of the Board of Directors.

The North Dakota War Chest carried on three separate statewide fundraising campaigns, during 1943-1944, 1944-1945 and 1945-1946. The campaigns were carried on in each county under the direction of the County Director, with the state organization providing overall coordination and control. The state quota was set by a Budget Committee which apportioned quotas to each county. The state organization was responsible for all public relations and publicity, the latter including newspaper, radio, movie and billboard advertising.

The first two campaigns were extremely successful, the North Dakota War Chest raising $423,271.91 in 1943-44 and $441,628.28 in 1944-45. North Dakota took first place nationally in these two campaigns and was eighth in 1945 -46, when $374,142.35 was collected. Most of the money was turned over to the National War Fund, but part was distributed among such state groups as the BoyScouts, Girl Scouts, Young Citizens League, Camp Fire Girls and North Dakota Nursing Council for War Services.

A special meeting of the Executive Committee on January 24, 1946 recommended that the North Dakota War Chest be dissolved since it had served its purpose as a wartime agency. Following ratification by corporation members and the return of money received over quotas to individual counties, the organization was liquidated and a final Order for Dissolution entered in Burleigh County District Court on October 18, 1946.

This finding aid was prepared by Frank Vyzralek in June 1972.


The basic materials in the North Dakota War Chest Papers consist of three volumes containing the organizations official records and a file of its newsletter.

Volume 1 contains the articles of incorporation and by-laws as well as minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee, January 1944 to October 1946; Budget Committee, August 1913 to June 1945; Board of Directors, July 1943 to June 1945; and Annual Membership Meetings, May 1944 to May 1946.

Volume 2 contains annual reports for 1944 through 1946, “Report of Activities, North Dakota War Chest, Inc., 1943-1946,” prepared by President H. A. Brandes in March 1946, copies of letters to County Directors returning amounts oversubscribed during the 1945-46 campaign along with certification by each county that the money would be expended according to the War Chest's articles of incorporation, and a copy of the final Order and Judgment of Dissolution.

Volume 3 contains a complete set of the organization's newsletter, Dakota War Chest Bulletin, September 1943 to March 1946.

In separate folders will be found a campaign brochure distributed during the 1945-46 campaign and a report by the North Dakota State Examiner of an examination of the War Chest's books and records during 1945-46.


Box 1:         

1. Volume 1: Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Minutes of meetings of Executive Committee, January 1944-October 1946; Budget Committee, August 1943-June 1945; Board of Directors, July 1943 -June 1945; Annual Membership Meetings, May 1944- May 1946
2. Volume 2: Annual Reports, 1944-1946, “Report of Activities, North Dakota War Chest, Inc.,” by H. A. Brandes, March 1946; Letters returning oversubscriptions to counties; Order and Judgment for Dissolution, October 18, 1946
3. Volume 3: North Dakota War Chest Bulletin, September 1943- March 1946
4. Campaign Brochure, 1945-1946
5. "Report of Examination of North Dakota War Chest, Bismarck, North Dakota, from  May 1, 1945 to March 25, 1946"

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