Who is on the 1 dollar bill? And why?

One dollar bill with George Washington

President George Washington, the first President of the United States, is on the $1 bill. His portrait has been a fixture on the bill since 1869, symbolizing his foundational role in American history.

Why is President George Washington on the $1 dollar bill?

  • George Washington: First President of the United States (1789–1797).
  • Symbolic Choice: Represents the nation’s founding and Washington’s pivotal role in American history.
  • Legacy: Acknowledged as a key figure in the establishment of the United States.
  • 1963 Design: His portrait was selected for the $1 bill’s design, reflecting his enduring legacy and leadership.
  • Historical Significance: Emphasizes Washington’s status as a national icon and the country’s founding principles.

What else does the 1 dollar bill feature?

The $1 bill is not just a currency note; it’s a piece of history, showcasing important symbols and designs.

Front (Obverse)

  • Portrait: Features George Washington, the first U.S. President.
  • Seals: Includes the Treasury Department seal and the Federal Reserve District seal.
  • Signatures: Displays the signatures of the U.S. Treasurer and the Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Design Elements: Contains intricate patterns and the year of the bill’s series.

Back (Reverse)

  • Great Seal: The left side shows the seal’s reverse with the pyramid and Eye of Providence, and the right side displays the seal’s obverse with the eagle.
  • Inscriptions: “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “ONE DOLLAR,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” are prominently displayed.
  • Design: Features a detailed and intricate style that includes the Great Seal of the United State.

The back of a one dollar bill

Historical Evolution of the $1 Dollar Bill

  • Initial Launch: The U.S. Treasury first issued the $1 bill as a Legal Tender Note in 1862, featuring Salmon P. Chase.
  • Subsequent Changes: The bill underwent several redesigns over time. In 1869, a new design introduced George Washington’s portrait, incorporating unique green and blue tints.
  • Twentieth-Century Updates: The bill saw further updates to both its security features and aesthetics. Significantly, in 1928, the Treasury standardized the bill to its current size.
  • The 1935 Milestone: This year marked a major redesign with the reverse side adopting its current design.
  • Additions and Modernizations: In 1957, the bill added the motto “In God We Trust.” Later, in 1963, the bill transitioned to a Federal Reserve Note. Its composition shifted to 25% linen and 75% cotton, enhancing its durability.
  • Ongoing Debates: Despite discussions about replacing it with coins, the $1 bill remains a key part of U.S. currency.