The official motto of the USA (also of Florida & Nicaragua)
"In God We Trust" first started to appear on US coins during the American Civil War - a time of increased religious sentiment.
In 1955 the 84th US Congress passed a law that all currency must carry the words as a Cold War measure:
"In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper" to "remind all of us of this self-evident truth" that "as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail."
The following year the same Congress approved a joint resolution declaring "In God We Trust" the national motto of the United States.
For the previous 170 years or so, "E Pluribus Unum" ("One from many") was widely considered the de facto national motto, having been approved for use on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782.
However, the Congressional Record for 1956 reads, "At the present time the United States has no national motto. The committee deems it most appropriate that 'In God we trust' be so designated as U.S. national motto."
"In God We Trust" is also the official motto of the State of Florida and and the Central American country, Nicaragua.
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