Two articles in the July 30, 1936 issue of The Planters’ Press promoted a wooden nickel campaign in Bossier City.

The first article announced “The Bossier City Association of Commerce will issue Wooden Nickles [sic] to the merchants of Bossier City for circulation among their customers in the very near future.  The purpose of this circulation is to attempt to raise some money for improvements on the new city park.”

“The idea has been used in a Texas City in the past to great advantage and it is thought that the same idea can be used in our city.”

“Purchases may be made in Bossier with the wooden nickles [sic] as legal tender and may be kept as souvenirs or sent to distant relatives as an advertising feature.”

“Not only is the feature one to boost Bossier City and advertise our town, but it is one that will cause lots of people to trade in Bossier City who would ordinarily trade in some other city.”

“It has been mentioned that a gold [sic] will trip will be made in connection with the inauguration of this campaign, however nothing definite has been done regarding it.”

The editorial page in the same issue proclaimed “A New Civic Campaign.”

“In a very few days, the Bossier Merchants will undertake one of the biggest campaigns ever attempted in our city.  The raising of enough money to push the new city park, so far as equipment is concerned, to a rapidly growing amusement center.”

“Many have expressed desires to have a tennis court placed on the location.  In order to obtain this end and make the most of the possibilities, it will be necessary to use nothing but concrete and concrete costs plenty of money.”

“Several merchants have advanced the ideas for the raising of enough money to lay the concrete and the most plausible one will be put into effect within a very short time.  This idea is the Wooden Nickle [sic] Campaign.”

“The campaign is worked in this manner.  A merchant takes so many nickles [sic] for issuance in his store and passes them on to customers in change.  This wooden nickle [sic] is good in any of the Bossier City stores as legal tender and may be spent as such.  The campaign will be dated to start and close on certain dates.  On the closing date, the merchants may ‘cash’ in their wooden nickles [sic] for face value.  It is hoped that enough of these nickles [sic] won’t show up on the cashing in date to carry the park program over in a big way and if enough enthusiasm is shown by the residents of this city, our new park will boast of one of the best tennis courts in this part of the country.”

“Bossier City has had much publicity in the past week or so, from the state of Rhode Island across to Chicago and over the radio waves throughout the United States and across many waters in a national magazine.  Capitalizing on some of this publicity and taking advantage of every opportunity, our wooden nickles [sic] will carry themselves far into the distant ports of these United States.”

“Let’s get behind the wheel and show the people of this country that Bossier will lead them all.”

To find out more about how Bossier has been a leader in its history, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or amiddlet@state.lib.la.us.

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