History/Back of a US Dollar

Got an email from my sister-in-law Olivia about the history that is on the back of a one dollar bill. I have to admit, I didn't know why all the these things were there and what they meant. I thought it was interesting and would like to share it with you all.

When you turn the bill over, you will first notice is that the Supreme Court has not forced the removal of "IN GOD WE TRUST" from this currency yet...thank God!

On the rear of the One Dollar bill, you will see two circles. Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men (including Thomas Jefferson and John Adams) come up with a Seal. It took four years and two more committees to accomplish this task and yet another two years to get it approved. It wasn't until June 13, 1782 that Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress, made the final submission. He incorporated elements from all three committees.

A revolutionary American creation, the Great Seal is a unique combination of natural elements (eagle, olive branch, stars, cloud, light rays, eye) and universal symbols (pyramid, arrows, shield).

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the one who decided to put both sides of the Great Seal on the back of the one-dollar bill.

If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. The Reverse of the Seal. This pyramid was not a part of the proposals for the Great Seal until the third committee, and it was NOT suggested by Jefferson, Franklin, or Adams. Charles Thompson said the pyramid represented "Strength and Duration." Furthermore, Francis Hopkinson, a literary man of letters, is credited with being the first to use the pyramid on American money.

Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark.

Although there is no "official" explanation for the shading, some have chosen to interpret this as a reflection that our country was just beginning. We had not even begun to explore the West. Indeed, only a scant few years before this, Virginia's official state boundaries had extended from the Atlantic ocean all the way to the Pacific ocean. Nor had America 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, said to be an 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. His committee wanted the seal to include some symbol of divine providence and discussed a variety of themes -- including the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. Franklin also wanted the wild turkey (unique to America) to be the overall symbol of the United States, not the eagle.

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 for the ages." Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to change the meaning slightly to "a new order has begun," wanting to connect that with a "New Deal".

At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numerals symbol for 1776.

Charles Thomson, the Secretary of the Continental Congress wanted a symbol that soared. The American Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol with the power to bridge heaven and earth in victory: The eagle is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will notice that it is reproduced on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and it is the centerpiece of most monuments for heroes. Only slightly modified, it is recognizable as the seal of the President of the United States, and it is always visible whenever s/he speaks.

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 is a ribbon on which you will read the words: "E PLURIBUS UNUM", meaning, "Out of many, one".

Above the Eagle, you have thirteen stars, notice the arrangement of the 13 stars. They are arranged as a Star of David, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away.

This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Hayim Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army, Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result. Few people know that it was Solomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions but died a pauper.

Again, we were coming together as one. These symbols are taken from the American flag and officially, the red represents hardiness and valor, the white represents purity and innocence, and the blue, vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

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.

Have you ever heard that the number 13 is an unlucky number?
This is almost a worldwide belief. It is so strong you will usually
never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor.

But think about the thirteens we have associated with our country:

1. 13 original colonies,
2. 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,
3. 13 stripes on our flag,
4. The final version of the Great Seal was submitted on the 13th of June
5. There are 13 steps on the Pyramid,
6. 13 letters in "Annuit Coeptis",
7. 13 letters in "E Pluribus Unum",
8. 13 stars above the Eagle,
9. 13 bars on that shield,
10. 13 leaves on the olive branch,
11. 13 fruits,
12. 13 arrows
13. 13th amendment (abolition of slavery)

Mostly taken from the email and this article here Back of the US Dollar

Next time you see the back of a dollar bill, make sure that you also remember all those that have fought so hard to keep us free. Too many veterans have given up so much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all. Thanks to all those that are serving and who have served to help keep us our freedoms and liberty. I hope you enjoyed this little piece of history!


Lori said...

Thomas, that was really interesting. Very glad you posted this. Thanks. In God We Trust. God bless!

ThomasCSlater said...

Glad you enjoyed it, I always enjoyed history, always found it very interesting.