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US National Motto
"In God We Trust"
Adopted on July 30, 1956
In God We Trust is the official national motto of the United States and the U.S. state of Florida. The motto first appeared on a United States coin in 1864, but In God We Trust did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956
The original national motto: "E Pluribus Unum"
The replacement motto: "In God We Trust:"
The national motto originated with Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, during the Civil War. Prompted by a letter from Rev. M. R. Watkinson, of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, asking for a recognition of "the Almighty God in some form in our coins," Chase requested Congress to pass a law changing the composition of the 2-cent piece to include the motto "In God We Trust." The law was passed on April 22, 1864. That same year, the two-cent coin was the first bearing the inscription. Eventually the motto appeared on all US coins and currencies.
When the double eagle and eagle of new design appeared in 1907, it was soon discovered that the motto had been omitted. In response to a general demand, Congress ordered it restored, and the act of May 18, 1908, made mandatory its appearance upon all coins upon which it had heretofore appeared. The act approved July 11, 1955, makes appearance of the motto "In God We Trust" mandatory upon all coins of the United States (69 Stat. 290. 31 US Code 324a).
On July 30, 1956, a law was passed stating "the national motto of the United States is hereby declared to be 'In God We Trust'." (70 Stat. 732. 36 US Code 186). This did not repeal or prohibit the phrase E Pluribis Unum as a national motto. In 1963 the Department of State took the following position: "'In God We Trust' is the motto of the United States. It seems to the Department, nevertheless, that there is ample basis both in history and law for calling 'E Pluribus Unum' a motto of the United States." The Congress has used both.
Mottos of the States
State motto is a word, phrase, or sentence inscribed on or attached to a coin, building, or other object. The motto states an important idea for a group of people within the state.
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