Saccone Bill Would Educate Students on ‘In God We Trust’ Origins
HARRISBURG – Many people are unaware that the practice of placing the national motto of the United States, “In God We Trust,” on America’s coins began nearly 150 years ago in Pennsylvania. This lack of awareness could change if a measure sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington) passes the Legislature and is signed into law.
House Bill 1728 would direct school districts in the Commonwealth to display “In God We Trust” in all public school buildings.  The purpose, according to Saccone, would be to promote patriotism through the display of the national motto and to educate children about an important but overlooked part of Pennsylvania’s heritage.
“James Pollock was a towering figure in Pennsylvania history, first serving in Congress and then becoming an extraordinarily influential governor in the 19th Century,” said Saccone.  “Later, while serving as director of the United States Mint in Philadelphia, Pollock introduced the words ‘In God We Trust’ to our coins.  They’ve been an important part of American culture and identity ever since.”
Francis Scott Key first made “In God We Trust” a statement of American patriotism when he included it in a stanza of the Star Spangled Banner in 1814, but it was Pollock who forever seared the motto into the nation’s conscience.  The 150th anniversary of Pollock’s action will be celebrated in his hometown of Milton in Northumberland County early next year.
“In God We Trust” originally appeared on two-cent pieces and later was applied to other coins.  Its placement on America’s money was somewhat sporadic until 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law an act officially declaring it the motto of the United States and ordering the phrase to be placed on all coins and bills.
“‘In God We Trust’ is so woven into the American fabric that it is impossible to hear the phrase without stirring feelings of pride and allegiance to our country,” said Saccone.  “Our youth need to hear the story of our heritage and learn from positive role models in a time of decaying values.  The story of our national motto is a positive story and one that is uniquely Pennsylvanian.”

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Representative Rick Saccone
39th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Ryan Travis, 717.260.6335 /
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