Posted by Jim Fitzgerald
From Argentina to Marshall, via San Antonio, a novel idea takes the nation by storm.  Hardy Adams of Marshall, who started the "APAP" club here and signed up 200 members in four hours, said the story of the club was told him by a friend from Argentina whom he saw recently in San Antonio.
And Englishmen and an Argentine were members there of a club with 25 members. Each time an enemy plane was shot down they gave a penny. The idea spread like a prairie fire and a month after word got out what the members were doing, the club and its 50,000 member's contributions made possible the purchase of a British fighter plane costing around $75,000 each month.
Adams pointed out how the idea could carry across the nation here.  Say there are 100,000 members, which is short change for the US.  Say that the announcement is made that seven planes have been shot down.  That’s $7,000 for a day’s shooting.  With a couple million members the amount would be $140, 000. 
The club in Argentina was called the Whirlwind Club after one of the British fighter planes (the Hurricane), but Adams and the News Messenger adopted the APAP (A Penny A Plane) name because it was more indicative of the club’s purpose.
“Wow! Whoopie!” Ann Sheridan wired from Hollywood that she had heard of Marshall’s Penny a Plane club and wanted details so that she could start a club in Hollywood and sign up all the stars.
So, the club started just three days earlier, and now with over 700 Marshall members, was sweeping the nation and a board of well-known civic club members (Rotary, Elks, Lions, Kiwanis) were named to be responsible for collections and hold the money in trust until word from Washington comes as to what to do with it.
Before the week was up over 1,000 members were signed up and the list was beginning to look like a city directory and had to be printed in type so small as to be almost unreadable, and the movement had swept the nation from coast to coast.
Movie stars like Pat O’Brian, Rita Haworth, and Rosalind Russell, quickly took over the drive at Columbia Studio, and described it as a snowball that quickly became an avalanche.  Slotted containers were placed on all the sound stages and the idea spread to the other studios in the area.
Sadly, Washington poured cold water on the idea by refusing to tie the funds specifically to the manufacture of planes like the British did and when interest and support dwindled, the Marshall club disbanded in April, after contributing only a little more than $1,000 to the campaign.  
Still, the APAP will be remembered for what it did so successfully for that brief period in our history and will be remembered August 24, 2019, as we celebrate a century of changing lives in Marshall and beyond.