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Do You Know This Man? - February 23, 2018

I bet my face would look good on the $10,000 bill.

Q: Depicted on the $10,000 bill, he has a bank named after him - as well as a county in Kansas. What's his name?    

A: Salmon P. Chase

Chase County, Kansas is named for Salmon Portland Chase, who served as U.S. treasury secretary and as chief justice on the U.S. Supreme Court in the mid to late 1800s. Chase was a politician too, serving as both governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator from that state. Chase was an abolitionist and, as an attorney, often defended runaway slaves in court. Chase served as secretary of the treasury in President Lincoln's cabinet from 1861 to 1864. During these Civil War years, he helped establish America's system of modern banknotes. The new paper currency provided a permanent, uniform and stable national currency. Chase's own face appeared on a variety of early U.S. paper currency, starting with the $1 bill. More than a half century later, an image of Chase would again appear on U.S. currency. His likeness appears on the $10,000 bill, which was in circulation from 1928 and 1946.

Fun factoid: Salmon Chase was instrumental in placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins in 1864.

Fun factoid #2: In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto. The law also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency. The phrase had appeared on U.S. coins since the Civil War, when religious sentiment in America reached a peak. The first paper money with the phrase “In God We Trust” was not printed until 1957. Since then, religious and secular groups have argued over the appropriateness and constitutionality of a motto that mentions “God.” Some groups have filed lawsuits too, but thus far, courts have ruled against them, which is why the phrase can still be found on all modern American coins and currency.

You're already here, so how 'bout some more Kansas Trivia?

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