Dollar BillToday really is all about the Benjamins. And the Georges and Abrahams and Ulysses and Andrews and Alexanders. It was July 6, 1785 when the brand new country called the United States of America decided it was about time they had their own currency, making today


Before America had dollars, our money was British Pounds, which became kind of awkward in the 1780s since we had just won our independence from the British in a bloody Revolution, with cannons, armies, the whole 9, the kind of things that usually result in bruised feelings all around.

Pounds, Shillings, Franks and Marks were already taken, so Congress came up with the Dollar ($) as our legal tender, divisible into 100 parts called cents (¢). George Washington didn’t get to be on the first dollars, though, what with him not being dead yet, one of the rules for appearing on currency and postage stamps.

The first dollars were not paper, but made of a copper alloy, with the likeness of a woman representing Liberty on them. Our money wasn’t even green until the Civil War, when the Union issued the first Greenbacks.

Those humble US Dollars went on to became the building blocks for the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen, and remains the world’s most reliable currency, hoarded in volatile nations whose own currency is less reliable.

The only thing wrong with the dollar is that we all don’t have more of them, some mad money for having fun.

•Suggested Activities: Calling them smackers, ducats, bucks, beans, C-notes, Benjamins, Dead Presidents, fins, Jacksons and simoleons.

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