Today in History: The Day 'In G-d We Trust' Became the Currency Trend
by M.C. Millman
The words "In G-d We Trust" were first added to U.S. coins at the beginning of the Civil War as Americans, feeling a surge of religious sentiment, wanted the world to know what their country stood for.
Congress passed the Coinage Act of April 22, 1864, which authorized the minting of the two-cent coin, the first piece minted to coin the phrase "In G-d We Trust" adapted from a verse in the "Star Spangled Banner".
The phrase gained popularity after President Eisenhower signed into law the establishment of “In God We Trust” as the U.S. national motto on July 30, 1956. Since then, "In G-d We Trust" has represented more than just a motto. It has been the bedrock of our country’s foundation and the essence of our identity as Americans.
Adding the religious sentiment to America's coinage did not come without opposition, primarily due to claims that the statement did not allow for the separation of church and state.
In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt ordered the phrase removed from the new design for gold coins, but a public protest convinced Congress to go back to the original design with the words included.
Years later, in 1955, Congress ordered "In G-d We Trust to be printed on all paper currency resulting in the first paper currency bearing the motto. The new bills were first entered into circulation on October 1, 1957.
Legal actions working to remove the phrase have passed in and out of the legal system marching in lockstep with those who insist that the words "under G-d" should be struck from the Pledge of Allegiance, seemingly personally affronted by anything that has to do with the mention of G-d. For those of us who know better - In G-d We Trust.