Reagan Not To Be On The Money

Once again, Americans prove to be remarkably conservative with their money – at least, with the issue of who and what is on their money. A proposal to take Ulysses S. Grant off the $50 bill and replace him with Ronald Reagan is almost universally thought of as a bad idea, according to a recent Marist poll. Even Republicans were 71% against the idea. Was this seriously on someone’s agenda somewhere?

Now, I could file this under “Really Bad Ideas,” but a proposal to change the face of the fifty from Grant to Reagan lacks the Wile E. Coyote-like, inherently destructive and easily-predictable but counter-productive qualitative results for which I reserve that tag’s use. So instead, I’ll just call this “Unimportant but Mildly Amusing.”

Amusingly, I have it on good authority that the Ronald Reagan State Office Building is lovingly called the “Reagan SOB” by a good number of the civil servants who work there. I’m overall a fan of President Reagan, but I can see why people would critique him. And just because we’re now a generation removed from his Presidency and can start to look back on it with some historical perspective doesn’t mean he gets to be on the money. Frankly, I think it’s too soon to have Eisenhower (“silver” dollar coin) or Kennedy (half dollar coin) on any money and even FDR on the dime is pushing it.

And here’s your trivia — without looking it up, who are the only two non-Presidents to appear on paper money that is currently recognized as legal tender in the United States? One should be easy to name, the other a little bit less so. It’s easy to find that with a search engine, so you’re on the honor system as to looking it up.

Hat tip to Ezra at Popehat.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Without looking, Mr. Franklin is one. Of course given his role in shaping the colonial confederation during the era of the mid 18th century, and his part in the declaration and constitution at the end of it, he probably did more for our nation than many presidents did.As to the other? No clue. I'm a school teacher. I barely know what money ~looks~ like.

  2. I think that it's Salmon P.Chase on the $1000 or$10000 bill. I'll check it out AFTER I post.

  3. You're right, Souscolline. Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury under Lincoln and later Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, is on the $10,000 bill. Bills larger than $100 are not used in general circulation but are recognized as legal tender.

  4. In fact, there is a bill still recognized as legal tender that is of a higher value than the Chase-adorned and rarely-seen $10,000 bill. What is it and who is on it?

  5. Hamilton. The teachers' unions really must be out of control if a teacher knows what a $100 bill looks like but not a $10 bill.

  6. Brandon, I am bested. I was thinking of Salmon Chase but your answer is obviously better.

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