By Universal Coin & Bullion …..
Educator and award-winning numismatic writer Michael Fuljenz will give a free, informative presentation on the national motto, “In God We Trust,” at the American Numismatic Association (ANA) National Money Show in Dallas, Texas on Friday, March 4, 2016. The public is invited.
The 45-minute presentation by Fuljenz, entitled “The Untold Story of ‘In God We Trust’ and its Ties to the National Anthem,” will start at 11:00 am on March 4 in Room 302 of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 Griffin St., in Dallas.
“Some critics of ‘In God We Trust’ may be ignorant of the phrase’s legal history or are deliberately ignoring the rulings of courts and resolutions of Congress,” explained Fuljenz, the President of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas who has written award-winning articles about the national motto.
Commenting on the recent controversy about the motto’s placement on police vehicles in some communities, Fuljenz explained:
“The patriotic motto has withstood a long line of legal challenges to appear on our money and on government-owned property. Courts have ruled that the motto can remain for ceremonial and patriotic reasons and tradition.
“It first appeared on circulating United States coins in 1864. It has been on all our coins since 1938, became the only official national motto in 1956 with the signing of legislation by President Dwight Eisenhower, and has appeared on all our paper money since 1966,” said Fuljenz.
Last month, a lawsuit was filed in Ohio seeking to remove the phrase from U.S. coins and paper money.
In 2013, a Federal Court judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit seeking removal of In God We Trust from our currency. The judge noted that “the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly assumed the motto’s secular purpose and effect.” In 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution reaffirming it as the national motto and encouraging its display in all public schools and government buildings.
Fuljenz pointed out that while the motto first appeared on U.S. coins at the time of the Civil War, it actually was inspired by events a half century earlier during the War of 1812.
“In 1861, Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase received a letter from a Pennsylvania minister who requested ‘the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.’ Chase instructed Mint Director James Pollock to prepare a motto. Pollock recalled a lyric in the now-seldom sung fourth stanza of “The Star Spangled Banner”: ‘And this be our motto – In God is our trust.’ Pollock had the words, ‘GOD OUR TRUST,’ placed on a few experimental patterns being tested in the early 1860s for proposed new designs for half-dollar and $10 denomination coins,” said Fuljenz.
“After consultations and debate within the Treasury Department, the words, IN GOD WE TRUST, first appeared in circulation on a new coin denomination, copper two-cent pieces, starting in 1864,” Fuljenz added.
Admission to the lecture is free. Admission to the National Money Show main floor on Thursday and Friday, March 3 and 4, will be $8 for adults, free for children. A $2 discount coupon is available online at www.NationalMoneyShow.com. There will be free admission for everyone on Saturday, March 5, when numismatic experts will be available to give complimentary verbal appraisals of the public’s old coins and paper money.
A former high school chemistry and physics teacher and principal of the Governor’s gifted students program in Louisiana, Fuljenz has served on the Diocese of Beaumont Catholic School Board since 2007 and was President from 2010 to 2012. He was honored with the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Award in 2013.