In God We Trust

On July 30, 1956, the President approved a joint resolution of Congress declaring In God We Trust the national motto of the United States. The words had been used on some American coins before that date but not on all currency, and not without objection. According to a Wikipedia article, Theodore Roosevelt strongly disapproved of the idea of evoking God within the context of a “cheap” political motto. In a letter to William Boldly on November 11, 1907, President Roosevelt wrote: “My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege … it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements.”