Woot! Paid for SIGA yesterday and also my air ticket. I will be visiting Ayutthaya in end of April it seems and most possibly Myanmar in early May right after Ayutthaya. Aih can’t wait! Well actually I can.
Anyway, for SIGA we had to pay using US dollars. I’ve handled and used US dollars before, but usually I’m quite scared to take them out cause the only time I am in possession of US dollars are when I travel. Scary ok. When travelling I try my best to look poor, muted and local. Not exactly sure how successful that is hahaha but yeah. Also, since I’m poor, this is actually the first time I’ve ever seen US dollars in many many different denominations. I’ve never realised the many little details that is included in one simple note.
Did you know that the US Dollar is the currency most used in international transactions? Is that because it’s the most widely known currency? Or is that an effect of it being widely used? Hehe whatever the reason, people trust and use it. 🙂
Back side of the notes
Basically front side of the note is a photo of a particularly notable President of the USA and the back side is a photo of some US landmarks. Apparently the notes are not made of regular paper, but is made of cotton fiber paper.
1. ONE DOLLAR
I think one of the more interesting notes is the one dollar bill. On the front is the photo of George Washington, first president of the USA. And on the back on the right side is the Great Seal of the USA. On the left side is the famous pyramid, and the eye, which is the reverse of the Great Seal, featured prominently in the conspiracy novel by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code.
The symbology of the Great Seal of the United States, and its subsequent use on the dollar bill (especially the pyramid and the Eye of Providence above the pyramid) are popular topics among conspiracy theorists. Conspiracy theorists are of the opinion that much of the symbolism involves occultism. For example, because the Eye of Providence above the unfinished pyramid is similar to the ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus, a charm, relating to the Pagan/Egyptian sun-god Horus which symbolized that worshipers will be protected and given royal powers from Pagan deities. In fact, Eye of Providence was a common Christian emblem symbolizing the Trinity throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Conspiracy theorists also note that the unfinished pyramid has thirteen steps (or that some other element of the Seal numbers thirteen), and are of the opinion that the number 13 has conspiratorial significance. The explanation for the repetition of the number thirteen is that this number represents the original thirteen colonies which became the first thirteen states. (From here)
2. FIVE DOLLAR
On the front side of the five dollar bill is Abraham Lincoln, a personal favorite of mine, who was most famous for the abolition of slavery in the US by the introduction of the Thirteenth Amendment in the Constitution.
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
His three minute speech, thickly given in his Kentucky accent, the Gettysburg address, was to be one of the most important speeches in the world.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Everytime I hear it, seriously makes me feel so empowered. And I’m not even American! Haha. Speaking of great speeches, it was only appropriate that on the back side of the note that there be a picture of the Lincoln Memorial. The building that witnessed the important and history changing March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the iconic I HAVE A DREAM speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
3. TEN DOLLAR
The front of the ten dollar note bears a picture of Alexander Hamilton, who was the first US Secretary of Treasury and a Founding Father. I don’t really know his story so well though. At the back side of the note is appropriately a picture of the US Department of Treasury building. According to Wiki, Hamilton almost single-handedly worked out the nation’s early financial system, and for several years was a major presence in Washington’s administration as well.
4. TWENTY DOLLAR
The front of the twenty dollar note is a picture of President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of US and on the backside, a photo of the White House. Don’t really know him either. But check out the following paragraph, from here.
Andrew Jackson’s actions toward the Native Americans as a general, as well as during his Presidency, have led some historians to question the suitability of Jackson’s depiction on the twenty-dollar bill. Howard Zinn, for instance, identifies Jackson as a leading “exterminator of Indians” and notes how the public commemoration of Jackson obscures this part of American history.
Those opposed to Central Banking point out the irony of Andrew Jackson on a Federal Reserve Note. Jackson spent much of his Presidency fighting against the Bank of the United States, which was at that time the government sanctioned Federal Bank.
5. FIFTY DOLLAR
On the lovely fifty dollar bill is a picture of President Ulysses S Grant, 18th president of the US who is most famous for leading the North to victory against the Confederate States in the Civil War. Yes I copied that from the Wiki page. Haha. But on the back side is the Capitol Building! Yes some of you may recognise it from various movies like Legally Blonde hahahaha. Oh I used to think it’s spelled wrongly.
6. HUNDRED DOLLAR
Finally here is the hundred dollar note, with one of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin on the front and the Independence Hall in the back. He is particularly notable for being one of the major figure in the American Enlightenment. When he was young, he adopted the pseudonym Mrs Silence Dogood in order to be published. Haha. There are fourteen letters altogether and they’re so amusing hehe. Oh and Franklin was also the inventor of the lightning rod.
So on the backside is the Independence Hall. If you look closely, the clock on the tower points to 2.22pm. Hehe. This place is particularly historical because this is where the Declaration of Independence was debated and adopted.
Anyway, I know all about this from the movie National Treasure!