Excerpt from Annual Report of the Director of the Mint to the Secretary of the Treasury Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1908
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908, Page 9. – Historical Reference Collection, United States Mint.
The motto “In God we trust” was first placed upon the bronze 2-cent piece authorized to be coined by the act of September 22, 1864. Section 5 of the act of March 3, 1865, authorizing the coinage of the 3-cent piece, provided for the placing of the motto on such coins as would admit thereof. This provision was enacted under section 18 of the act of February 12, 1873. The motto was first placed on the gold and silver coins (with the exception of the dime, which was too small) January 1, 1866.
Section 3517 of the Revised Statutes of the United States adopted by the act of Congress dated June 22, 1874, did not provide for the placing of the motto on any of the coins. The motto continued to be placed on the coins upon which it had previously appeared until the adoption, in 1907, of the new designs of the double eagle and the eagle, from which it was omitted, the inscriptions and legends being confined to those authorized by section 3517 of the Revised Statutes.
May 18, 1908, an act was passed by Congress restoring the motto “In God we trust” on the coins of the United States, to take effect thirty days after its passage. The motto appears on all gold and silver coins struck since July 1, 1908, with the exception of the dime.
AN ACT Providing for the restoration of the motto “In God we trust” on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the motto “In God we trust,” heretofore inscribed on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States of America, shall hereafter be inscribed upon all such gold and silver coins of said denominations as heretofore.
SEC. 2. That this Act shall take effect thirty days after its approval by the President.
Approved, May 18, 1908.
Compiled and transcribed by the United States Mint, Office of the Historian.