This Day in Christian History: April 22
April 22, 1864: In God We Trust is engraved on US coins for the first time
|1864 Two Cent Coin with the new Motto: In God We Trust|
You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.
This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.
Apparently, the Treasurer Salmon Chase agreed with this statement, because in a letter dated
|Salmon Chase, Secretary of Treasury 1864|
Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.
You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.
The motto that should appear was debated, but on April 22, 1864, Congress approved the motto In God We Trust, and it first appeared on the two cent coin.