In God We Trust – this day in history, May 18, 2007

According to the History Channel’s This Day in History website, on May 18, 1908 putting the phrase “In God We Trust” on some U.S. coins was mandated by the U.S. Congress. Seems strange given the separation of church and state, no? I’ve often wondered about that!

I toured the U.S. Mint in Denver this spring and it didn’t come up on the tour. But the Government must get asked about it all the time, because the U.S. Treasury’s website has a factsheet on the history of the phrase and our money.

Anybody looking for a controversial topic for a paper might look further into this! The Library’s collection of books and journal articles should be able to help. For example, the Library has a book about Madalyn Murray O’Hair called The Athiest, which is available online. There are pages talking about her 1977 lawsuit against the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of Engraving and Printing to stop the printing of the phrase on U.S. currency.

Just a Friday thought, even though Spring Semester is ending already, for those casting about for paper topics–and if this one doesn’t grab you, you can always check out the significant events of other dates using the History Channel’s website for inspiration.

Government Printing Office logo

The University Library is a federal depository with many federal, state, local, and international documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in print, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronically. Come check out your government at the University Library!

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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