Friday, January 18, 2008
The Best Things in Life Are Free ...
... but you can give 'em to the birds and bees ...
Came across an interesting site while doing some research on American paper money, sparked by the fact that the ten and twenty dollar bills both feature men who were wounded or killed in duels.
Most of you probably know the faces of the men on the current circulating denominations up to a hundred (and not counting coins): Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, and Franklin. Five presidents, a secretary of the treasury, and an original American patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, plus the apocryphal kite and all.
But did you know that there used to be much larger bills floating around? $500, McKinley; $1000, Cleveland; $5000, Madison, and $10,000, Salmon P. Chase. Three presidents and a banker. I am given to understand they took those out of circulation for a number of reasons, not the least of which was to address the problem of counterfeiting. A bogus twenty is one thing, a fake ten thou note would sting if you got stuck with it. Plus there weren't a lot of places to use such notes. Big Mac, fries, a Coke, here you go, got change for a Chase ... ?
Only two women who were real people appear on the paper money. Martha Washington and Pocahontas.
One Native American man made it onto the green: Running Antelope -- a Sioux, who was depicted in a Pawnee headdress by an idiot of an artist, which pissed off both the Sioux and Pawnee.
Ain't the internet great?