In God We Trust Day, celebrated on April 22, came about as a result of a law that the U.S. Congress passed to effect the inscription of the same phrase on U.S. coins. On April 22, 1864, the United States Congress passed an act allowing for ‘In God We Trust’ to begin appearing on U.S. coins. From 1864 until 1938 it appeared on various U.S. coins, each for a different duration. It has appeared on the penny since 1909, the dime since 1916, and on all gold coins, silver dollars, half dollars, and quarter-dollar coins since 1908. ‘In God We Trust’ is also the official motto of the United States, and can be found in most federal institutions.
History of In God We Trust Day
‘In God We Trust’ is the official motto of the United States. The U.S. Congress adopted the phrase in 1956, replacing ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ which had been the motto since 1776 when the Great Seal of the United States was initially designed. The origins of this phrase as a political motto date back to the American Civil War, during which Union supporters aimed to solidify their faith in God and boost morale for the battle ahead. In 1864, the capitalized form of the phrase ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ made its first appearance on the two-cent piece; it was also printed on paper currency from 1957 and on several post stamps since 1954.
In July 1955 President Dwight Eisenhower endorsed a law passed by a joint resolution of the 84th Congress, that requires the words ‘In God We Trust’ to appear on all American currency. This came into effect two years after the law was made when it was used on paper money for the first time. Congress would later pass a follow-up law, also signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declaring the phrase the national motto. This provision has also been authorized in public institutions or schools, while the states of Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi have incorporated the phrase in some of their state symbols. The motto is also used in other countries’ currencies such as Nicaragua’s coins.
The ‘In God We Trust’ motto is still popular in America to this day. According to a 2019 student poll by “College Pulse” showed that 53% of students supported the inclusion of the ‘In God We Trust’ phrase in the American national currency
In God We Trust Day timeline
The United States of America becomes an independent sovereign country in 1776.
In 1864, the United States Congress passes a law allowing the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ to appear on U.S. coins.
The United States officially adopts the ‘In God We Trust’ phrase.
In 1957, following a law that was passed two years prior, the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ becomes part of all American currency.
In God We Trust Day FAQs
What is In God We Trust Day?
In God We Trust Day is a national holiday that honors the occasion on which Congress passed an act to allow the words ‘In God We Trust’ to appear on U.S. coins.
When is In God We Trust Day?
In God We Trust Day is observed on April 22 every year.
Is the phrase on every bill?
Yes, it is. Since 1957, the phrase has been on all American currency.
How to Observe In God We Trust Day
Collect some coins
This holiday is the perfect opportunity to do some coin collecting. Go ahead, get collecting today!
Exchange some American currency
We’re saying you should spend some money. All American currency notes have the phrase on them, so you might as well do some buying and let money change hands, right?
Post on social media
Whether you’re collecting, or spending, be sure to share on social media using the #InGodWeTrustDay hashtag. Start a conversation online!
5 Interesting Facts About American Currency
Only one woman appears on a bill
Martha Wright is the only woman to appear on a dollar bill.
First coins were minted in 1792
The first American coins were minted in 1792.
Paper money is dirty money
Paper bills are characteristically dirty because of the material they’re made from and the fact that they exchange hands so much.
Most bills test positive for cocaine residue
About 90% of American dollar bills test positive for cocaine residue.
There used to be a $10,000 bill
It might sound crazy now, but the highest denomination of a dollar bill to ever be in circulation was a $10,000 bill.
Why In God We Trust Day is Important
It’s an opportunity to learn
Not everybody knows exactly how and when the ‘In God We Trust’ phase came about, so this holiday gives us all an opportunity to learn. We love learning!
It has a spiritual reference
The phrase itself is symbolic of faith and obeisance to a higher, presumably supreme being. It’s a great way to honor faith.
It has cultural value
‘In God We Trust’ is a part of the American culture for the mere fact that it’s the national motto. Spread the news about your culture on this day.
In God We Trust Day dates