The French say the more things change, the more they stay the same. That couldn’t be more apt in light of recent action in the House of Representatives June 29.
A vote was taken in the House of Representatives to cut off funding to the Mint that is used for the purpose of putting edge lettering on Presidential dollars.
It is not that Congress dislikes edge lettering. It probably doesn’t care as a body one way or the other, but what it truly does not like are the recent error headlines about “Godless dollars.” Those are fighting words to our elected representatives just as they were in 1907.
Instead of moving the motto to the edge 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt went whole hog with the new Saint-Gaudens $20 design. He took the motto off completely, maintaining that it was sacrilegious.
It would be an understatement to say the nation did not feel that way. Legislation was rapidly introduced in Congress and the use of the motto was mandated in law to overrule the President’s position. The motto reappeared in 1908.
Every President gets his wrist slapped now and again by the Congress, but Teddy did not stay down long. He still had a bully time in office and has been fondly remembered ever since.
It is only we collectors who remember and repeat the “In God We Trust” story.
Look for more prominent treatment of “In God We Trust” on the Presidential coins in 2008.