Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wonder Wednesday: Washington and the Dollar Bill

Remember that Wonderopolis does the BEST job of this sort of thing. This is just my little attempt to start. At least this time I've got pics! No video. Still working on that.

So this is a board that went up for a Leader in Me visit in December (and, let's be honest, will probably stay up through the visit in February, too!)

The posters are from a Picturing America grant.

Anyway. One of the "wonders" in the bubbles around the side? Said this ...

Why is George Washington on the dollar bill? Well, student who shall remain nameless, let me tell you what I found. It's not a totally complete answer yet but that's the fun of research. You can keep looking.

First of all, the first person to be on the front of a one dollar bill wasn't even actually Washington. It was Salmon P. Chase. He worked as Secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln. Before the Civil War the United States used a different kind of paper money than we do now. Different banks all issued different kinds of money! They just had to have gold or silver to back it up. During the Civil War laws changed and banks were required to all use the same type of paper currency. Soon after, in 1869, in fact, the first portrait of Washington showed up on the dollar bill. Christopher Columbus was on there as well! No one really says why but most people guess because it was during a time of war when the country was trying to stay together that they wanted the "first" national money to remind users of our "first" president.

I found some information on Wikipedia (I DOUBLE CHECKED THE SOURCES! Because as you know some things are right and some are not). If you are interested in money the US Mint has a GREAT site for kids called HIP Pocket Change. HIP stands for History in your Pocket. Check our databases for more information. Keywords you might use are "Washington," "dollar," or "currency." You can also check the shelves. Books on the history of money are found in the 332.4 section and we've also got one specifically on the history of the PICTURES on money under 769.5 PAR.

1 comment: