Editor’s note: Brent E. Zepke shares the story of a dollar bill — in the currency’s own words.
I can relate to the comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s saying “I get no respect.” However, Rodney’s adding “When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them” does not apply to me or my lineage that I can trace back 229 years.
It was in 1792 that the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) gave Congress the power to establish the decimal system of currency based on a dollar being valued in terms of “grains” of silver. As a dollar bill, I am proud to anchor a decimal system with simplicity of calculations compared to ones where a foot is 12 inches or a quart is 32 ounces.
Rodney’s quip “When I was born, I was so ugly that the doctor slapped my mother” also does not apply to me as my front side proudly displays the 1796 Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, a signature of the current U.S. treasurer…