Dollar Bill History Class
|Take out a one dollar bill and
look at it. The one dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957
in its present design.
This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It's not paper money at all...it's fabric money. We've all washed it without it falling apart.
A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.
If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for the balance - a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter's T-square, a tool
used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury.
That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know. If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of
the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
If you look at the left hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could
do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is un-capped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, and ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.
"IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means "a new order has begun."
At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776. If you look at the right hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet no one knows what the symbols mean.
The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons. First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We as a nation had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported.
This country can now stand on its own.
At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read, "E PLURIBUS UNUM", meaning "from many (people) one (nation)."
Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies, "exploding" to roll away any clouds of misunderstanding and doubt.
Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.
They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this: 13 original
colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in the Latin phrases "Annuit Coeptis" and "E Pluribus Unum", 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows (and later, for minorities: the 13th Amendment).
Why didn't we know this? You probably don't know it. Your children don't know it because no one ever felt it important enough to tell us about it. The schools no longer teach American History with an emphasis on what it took to found this country and gain our freedom from the English crown; on the moral underpinnings, courage, and conviction of our Founding Fathers. It used to be "United we stand, divided we fall."
Now, everything is about "celebrating our differences", "moral relativism" and moral equivalency", that no one set of beliefs are better than another. Group rights divide and "Balkanize" people against one another to give one group "an advantage" over the other. They teach that our country is no longer a "melting pot" where people should assimilate into one (E Pluribus Unum), rather it is a "salad bowl" where all the pieces are separate and distinct (but if you don't like cucumbers, tomatoes, or Romaine lettuce you can easily pick them off your plate).
The real story of the strong religious convictions and values of our founders, and what it meant to them to risk their lives and property to follow those beliefs, has been diminished, distorted, covered over, and
regrettably, dismissed as "non-inclusive".
Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let that meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that doesn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all.
Tell your kids and grand-kids what a dollar bill really stands for. Because if you don't, nobody else will.
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