On July 30, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a Joint Resolution of the 84th Congress officially establishing the phrase, “In God We Trust,” as the national motto of the United States. “In God We Trust” replaced the phrase, E Pluribus Unum, which had been selected as the Nation’s official motto in 1776.
The motto, “In God We Trust,” can be traced back nearly 200 years in U.S. history. During the War of 1812, as the morning light revealed that the American flag was still waving above Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that would eventually become our national anthem. The final stanza of the poem read, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust!’”
In 1864, Key’s phrase was changed to “In God We Trust” and included on the redesigned two-cent coin. The following year, Congress authorized the Director of the Philadelphia Mint to place the motto on all gold and silver coins. The motto began appearing on all U.S. coins in 1938. “In God We Trust” became a part of the design of U.S. currency (paper money) in 1957. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has incorporated the motto on all currency since 1963.
“In God We Trust” is also engraved on the wall above the Speaker’s dais in the Chamber of the House of Representatives and over the entrance to the Chamber of the Senate.