(May 27) The General Court passes the Massachusetts Bay Mint Act, establishing the only colonial mint. The mint is established in Boston, Massachusetts. It is unknown when the mint actually stopped producing coins but it was denied reestablishment by King James II on October 27, 1686.
(February 3) The colony of Massachusetts issues the first government-authorized paper money in the Americas.
(April 29) Peter Heyman, the Collector of Customs for the James River, is killed by pirates off Cape Henry, Virginia.
(January 11) Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, is born on the West Indian island of Nevis.
(March 22) Parliament passes the Stamp Act, the first direct tax levied on the colonists. The taxation enrages the colonists and results in several protests and boycotts before being repealed.
(October 7) The Stamp Act Congress meets in New York City. The declaration of rights that came from the meeting includes the idea of no taxation without representation.
(December 2) John Dickinson's Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania is first printed. The pamphlet spreads through the colonies and is even printed in Europe, bringing the colonists' problems with the Stamp Act to the attention of the international community.
(July 19) The Rhode Island Militia sinks the British ship HMS Liberty off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. This is the first major act of defiance by colonists against the British taxation, which eventually sparks the American Revolution.
(April 12) The Townshend Acts, a set of taxes on the importation of glass, paper and paint, are repealed by Parliament. The tax on the importation of tea is kept.
(June 10) At dawn, the HMS Gaspee is burned off the coast of Rhode Island for attempting to enforce the Stamp Act. The ship ran aground the day before attempting to apprehend a smuggler and was an easy target for angry Rhode Islanders.
(December 16) The Boston Tea Party occurs. Boston residents are angered that the repeal of the Stamp Act failed to repeal the tax on tea.
(August 25) The North Carolina convention resolves to boycott British tea and cloth until the tax levied by Parliament has been removed.
(September 5) The First Continental Congress assembles in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(June 22) The Continental Congress orders the first issue of Continental Currency. Two million dollars worth of notes are issued and are backed by an equal amount of Spanish gold and silver coins.
(July 18) The Continental Congress recommends that every colony form companies of militia made up of men aged 16 to 50. They also ask that one-quarter of the militia companies be minutemen. Minutemen were soldiers that could be ready for battle in a minute's notice and were meant to be able to quickly respond to any threat. Minutemen companies were largely made up of the younger and more mobile members of the militia.
(July 21) The Continental Congress appoints a committee of three men to supervise the printing of two million dollars in currency in Philadelphia.
(July 29) The Continental Congress appoints Michael Hillegas and George Clymer joint treasurers of the "United Colonies".
(November 6) The Continental Congress appoints a committee to examine the amount of money remaining in the Treasury and estimate the public debt. The committee is one of several established by Congress to handle different phases of the revolutionary government's finances.
(February 17) The Continental Congress provides for a standing committee of five to superintend the Treasury Department. The committee was referred to by various names, including Board of Treasury and Treasury Office of Accounts.
(April 10) The Continental Congress creates an Office of Accounts to be headed by an Auditor General as an expansion of the Standing Committee of the Treasury.
(June 11) Continental Congress appoints a committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston are the men chosen.
(July 4) The Continental Congress approves the Declaration of Independence.
(October 3) The first domestic loan occurrs when the Continental Congress authorizes the Treasury Board's request to borrow $5 million to help finance the Revolutionary War.
(October 17) The Continental Congress orders that a committee be formed to find a way to better regulate the Treasury Board.
(February 20) A Congressional committee recommends the establishment of a mint. The Treasury Board is tasked with planning and regulating the mint and its devices to be stamped on the coins. No follow-up action was taken at the time.
(September 10) The Continental Congress appoints a committee to prepare recommendations for each state about taxation for the war effort, including estimated quotas of taxes per state.
(September 27) The Continental Congress meets in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after fleeing Philadelphia, which had fallen to the British. The congress orders the Treasurer of the United States to move with Congress to York, Pennsylvania.
(February 6) The Treaty of Amity and Commerce is signed by the United States and France in Paris. It recognizes the United States as an independent nation and encourages trade between France and the colonies. France is the first nation to recognize the independence of the 13 Colonies.
(May 4) The Treaty of Amity and Commerce and The Treaty of Alliance, Eventual and Defensive, are ratified. In the commerce treaty, France recognizes the United States as an independent nation and encourages trade between the two. The alliance guarantees French entry into the Revolutionary War and stipulates that there will be no peace with Great Britain unless both countries agree to it.
(September 19) The Committee on Finance of the Continental Congress presents the first national budget.
(September 26) The Treasury System is reorganized by the Continental Congress, creating an auditor, Office of Comptroller, Office of Treasurer, and two Chambers of Accounts. A committee was also selected to design the Seal of the Treasury.
(November 27) The Carlisle Peace Commission concedes failure and returns to England. The commission had hoped to reach a peaceful agreement with the United States before France entered the war.
(February 11) The Continental Congress orders that the office of Secretary of the Treasury be created and that the holder of the office be paid $2,000 a year. The position is abolished by July of 1779.
(June 2) The Continental Congress authorizes the Board of the Treasury to sign continental bills of credit. Bills of credit are backed by nothing more than a promise by the United States to be paid back at some point in time.
(November 29) The Continental Congress authorizes a final issue of currency. The money is later so worthless that it gives rise to the phrase "not worth a continental."
(November 24) A Congressional Committee reports that the Treasury needs to be reorganized under a single officer who is accountable to Congress.
(February 7) The Continental Congress establishes the Office of the Superintendent of Finance, the precursor to the Secretary of the Treasury.
(February 20) The Continental Congress unanimously elects Robert Morris to the newly created position of Superintendent of Finance. He serves until November 1, 1784.
(March 1) The Articles of Confederation are ratified, forming the first United States government. The Articles fail to provide Congress with the ability to levy taxes.
(September 7) The Continental Congress assigns the duties of Agent of Marine to the Superintendent of Finance.
(October 23) The Continental Congress authorizes the Superintendent of Finance to correspond with United States foreign ministers on matters relating to the treasury.
(December 3) The Continental Congress authorizes the Superintendent of Finance to spend money obtained from Europe.
(January 15) Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris asks for the authority to establish a mint in a report to Congress. Congress gives Morris permission but interest wanes and nothing is done until April of 1792.
(May 7) The Continental Congress authorizes the Superintendent of Finance to appoint inspectors for the army to report fraud and make sure soldiers serving in the Revolutionary War are getting what they need.
(June 20) The Continental Congress approves the Great Seal of the United States.
(September 16) The Great Seal of the United States is imprinted onto a document for the first time.
(November 30) The United States and Great Britain sign the preliminary articles of peace.
(May 28) The Continental Congress establishes the Board of Treasury, designing it to replace the position of Superintendent of Finance. The Board, made up of three men, is given the powers of the Superintendent in November 1784 and runs the Treasury until 1789.
(July 6) The Continental Congress unanimously chooses the dollar as the money unit for the United States. They also adopt a decimal coinage system, although this does not have any practical meaning until the passage of the Mint Act of 1792 because there are no coins.
(August 19) The Continental Congress orders that the Board of Treasury fix standards of weights and measures for the United States.
(December 28) Congress authorizes the Board of the Treasury to investigate the conduct of all Treasury Department officers.
(October 13) Congress authorizes a board to settle debt from the war between the United States government and the individual states.
(October 16) Congress authorizes the creation of a mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(May 25) The Constitutional Convention opens at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(March 4) The first Congress of the United States convenes in New York, technically marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. In reality, no government business is attended to until April 1, 1789 in the House of Representatives and April 6, 1789 in the Senate. The delay is due to members of the southern states requiring time to travel.
(April 11) Manufacturers and tradesmen from Baltimore, Maryland, petition the first Congress for a protective tariff.
(April 30) George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States on Wall Street in New York City.
(July 20) An Act of Congress imposes duties on tonnage, charging ships between six and 50 cents per ton depending on their ownership and use.
(July 31) The Fifth Act of Congress establishes the United States Customs Service.
(August 1) The Tariff Act of 1789 goes into effect. It establishes a policy of protectionism, which is an economic policy that discourages imports and foreign takeovers of domestic companies to protect the domestic economy.
(September 2) President Washington approves of Congress' proposal to create the Department of the Treasury. The Treasury Department is the second oldest department in the federal government.
(September 11) Alexander Hamilton takes the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury.
(September 13) The United States government takes out a loan for the first time. The loan is taken from banks in New York City.
(September 22) Congress establishes the Postal Service, initially requiring the first Postmaster General to report to the president through the Secretary of the Treasury.
(September 25) The Bill of Rights, at the time composed of 12 amendments to the Constitution, is passed by Congress and sent to the state legislatures for ratification.
(January 8) President George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address. Among other things, Washington asks Congress to develop a uniform currency.
(January 9) Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, submits his First Report on Public Credit advocating assuming state debt. Southerners, specifically Jefferson and Madison, are heavily opposed to the idea. Hamilton placates them by agreeing to support putting the capital on the Potomac River in exchange for passing his assumption plan.
(June 8) The Temporary Loan of 1789 is repaid. The loan is the first governmental debt under the Constitution.
(July 26) Secretary Alexander Hamilton's plan detailed in his First Report on Public Credit narrowly passes in Congress. Hamilton finally secures the votes needed by using his influence to encourage the placement of the permanent capital on the Potomac River. In return, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison support Hamilton's plan.
(August 4) Congress authorizes the first U.S. government securities.
(December 14) Secretary Hamilton submits his report on a National Bank to Congress.
(January 28) Alexander Hamilton submits his Mint Report to Congress. The report gives results of the U.S. government's first financial survey on the silver content of the Spanish dollar.
(February 10) Alexander Hamilton reports to the House of Representatives on trade with China and India.
(February 25) The Bank of the United States receives its first charter.
(March 3) The Revenue Act of 1791 establishes the first system of internal taxation in the United States. It imposes an excise tax on distilled liquors and is called "the whiskey tax."
(November 26) President Washington meets with the heads of various departments. This is the first meeting of the president's cabinet.
(December 12) The First Bank of the United States opens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(April 2) An Act of Congress establishes the first United States Mint facility in Philadelphia and establishes the U.S. legal tender system, ordering the creation of gold, silver, and copper coinage ranging in value from $10 to half of a penny. It also orders the eagle design on United States coins.
(May 8) A Commissioner of the Revenue is created to supervise the collection of taxes. It is abolished in 1802 and briefly revived from 1813 to 1817.
(July 31) David Rittenhouse, the first Director of the United States Mint, lays the cornerstone for the Philadelphia Mint.
(November 6) President Washington declares an end to the coin shortage with the striking of the first half-dime coins.
(January 7) A "Dog of the Yard" is purchased for $3 by the United States Mint as protection. Named Nero, he is the first of several dogs to guard the Philadelphia Mint over the next quarter-century.
(February 9) Congress establishes the value of certain foreign coins as legal tender in the United States.
(July 20) Approximately 7,000 half-cent coins are produced by the mint, the first of their kind.
(August 7) President Washington calls up the militia in response to the Whiskey Rebellion. Washington would later lead 13,000 men to Western Pennsylvania, an act that would confirm the supremacy of federal laws in the states.
(January 15) Alexander Hamilton publishes his Second Report on Public Credit.
(January 31) Alexander Hamilton resigns, ending his term as the first Secretary of the Treasury.
(July 31) The first gold coins, consisting of 744 half-eagles, are delivered for circulation.
(September 22) The first $10 gold eagle coins are minted.
(October 10) The first two women are employed by the United States Mint as adjusters.
(April 28) An Act of Congress provides for the support of public credit and the redemption of public debt.
(May 6) An Act of Congress authorizes a loan for the establishment of the seat of government in Washington, D.C.
(September 21) The first quarter eagle gold coins are minted. They are called quarter eagles because they are worth one quarter of the value of the $10 eagle coin.
(July 14) The first direct federal tax on states is levied by Congress on dwellings, land, and slaves.
(June 15) George Hadfield's Treasury Building opens in Washington, D.C., with 69 employees beginning work in the nation's new permanent capital.
(January 20) The Treasury Building is damaged by fire. President John Adams joins the bucket brigade.
(May 14) President Thomas Jefferson appoints Albert Gallatin as the fourth Secretary of the Treasury. Gallatin serves for nearly 13 years, the longest term ever served by a Secretary of the Treasury. He leaves his post on February 8, 1814.
(July 11) Former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Burr mortally wounds Hamilton, who dies the following day.
(February 10) The Coast Survey is established in the Department of the Treasury. It is the oldest scientific organization in the Federal Government.
(September 3) Robert Fulton registers the Clermont, the first successful steamboat, with the United States Customs Service in New York City.
(December 22) The Embargo Act is passed by Congress and signed by President Jefferson. The act is passed in response to an incident between the USS Chesapeake and the HMSLeopold, in which the Leopold fires upon the American ship, killing three and wounding eight. After boarding the Chesapeake, the British impress four American sailors who they claim are deserters.
(April 25) An Act of Congress establishes the General Land Office under the Department of the Treasury to survey new lands, specifically the Louisiana Territory.
(August 24) Following the defeat of the American militia at the Battle of Bladensburg, the British enter Washington, D.C., unopposed and burn the Main Treasury Building and the White House.
(April 13) The Second Bank of the United States is chartered five years after the charter of the First Bank of the United States expires against the wishes of Secretary Albert Gallatin. President James Madison and Secretary Alexander Dallas push for the creation of the bank after large financial problems during and after the War of 1812, which may have been avoided if the First Bank still existed because Gallatin planned to borrow $20 million from it in a time of war.
(May 19) Congress passes the Tariff of Abominations, which taxes imported manufactured goods in an attempt to protect northern industry, leading to the Nullification Crisis. South Carolina, upset by the harshness of a tariff that placed a 62 percent tax on over 90 percent of imported goods, claims a right to nullify federal laws if it deems them unconstitutional. The state threatens secession if the federal government attempts to enforce the tariff. The state mobilizes 25,000 troops and is on the brink of war with the United States before a compromise tariff was passed in early 1833.
(March 29) A Report of the Senate decides against legislating a national currency.
(July 10) President Jackson vetoes the attempt to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States.
(March 31) Harry and Richard White burn the second Treasury Building, trying to destroy records proving they committed pension fraud.
(June 28) An Act of Congress redefines the amount of gold in a dollar, making coins minted prior to July 31, 1834, worth 5.2 percent less than their stated value.
(January 30) Richard Lawrence, an unemployed painter who suffered from severe mental illness, attempts to kill President Andrew Jackson in front of the Capitol. Lawrence has two pistols misfire at point blank range before Jackson helps subdue his attacker by beating him with his cane.
Had Jackson been killed, the Second Bank of the United States may never have closed. Having a central bank would have decreased the severity of the Panic of 1837. In the 1930s, the Smithsonian test-fired the two pistols used by Lawrence and both fired on the first attempt. The odds of both guns misfiring during the attempt were estimated to be 1 in 125,000.
(March 3) An Act of Congress authorizes the creation of the Charlotte Mint in North Carolina, the New Orleans Mint in Louisiana, and the Dahlonega Mint in Georgia. The Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints close permanently in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. The New Orleans Mint closes in 1861 as well, but reopens from 1879 to 1909.
(June 23) An Act of Congress requires the Secretary of the Treasury to designate one bank in each state and territory as a "pet bank." These banks are used for the deposit of government funds and are to take on the former duties of the Second Bank of the United States.
(July 4) Congress authorizes the construction of a fireproof Main Treasury Building. The requirement of fireproofing is due to the fact that the two previous buildings had suffered massive fire damage, most famously in the War of 1812.
(July 6) President Jackson makes Robert Mills architect of public buildings in Washington, D.C. The position would later become the Office of the Supervising Architect in the Department of the Treasury.
(May 10) The Panic of 1837 begins when all the banks in New York City suspend specie payments. The panic is the second worst depression in the history of the United States and lasts until 1843.
(June 9) The Republic of Texas authorizes the issue of $500,000 of its own currency.
(September 4) In response to the Panic of 1837, President Van Buren calls for a special session of Congress. Van Buren calls for Congress to take the final step of President Jackson's bank divorce policy by establishing an independent treasury, eliminating any connection to state run banks. The independent treasury is established but is eliminated by the Whigs when Van Buren leaves office in 1841, only to be re-established by President Polk in 1846.
(October 2) The payment of the Treasury surplus to the states is suspended by Congress in response to the Panic of 1837.
(March 28) The first coinage bearing a mint mark, gold half-eagle coins, are produced at the Charlotte Mint.
(August 31) The Treasury Building at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue is ready for partial occupancy. Designed by Robert Mills, the Treasury is one of the finest examples of high Greek Revival architecture in America.
(February 4) The Second Bank of the United States shuts down for the final time, five years after losing its charter.
(August 16) President Tyler vetoes the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, leading to rioting outside the White House by fellow Whig party members. The riot leads to the formation of the District of Columbia police force.
(September 11) Most of President Tyler's cabinet resigns in protest of his veto of the creation of the Third Bank of the United States in a move designed by Henry Clay, who hopes to force Tyler to resign. Only Secretary of State Daniel Webster remains in his position.
(August 9) The Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed in the old State Department building, which is later demolished and replaced by the Treasury Building's north wing. The treaty defines the border between Maine and New Brunswick and sets the border between the United States and Canada west of the Mississippi River at the 49th parallel.
(August 26) Congress establishes that the fiscal year would begin on July 1 and end on June 30 instead of coinciding with the calendar year. The fiscal year is changed in 1974 and now begins on October 1 and ends September 30.
(December 3) Secretary Robert J. Walker submits his famous free trade Annual Report. The report is considered one of the best arguments for free trade over protectionism ever written.
(April 3) Nathaniel Hawthorne is appointed as Surveyor of the Port of Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne introduces his famous book, The Scarlet Letter, with a preamble titled "The Custom-House," in which the narrator claims to have found evidence about the characters of the story at the customhouse where Hawthorne worked.
(August 6) President Polk signs the Second Independent Treasury Act. The independent treasury prevents the massive inflation and economic booms seen during the War of 1812 and the Civil War from happening during the Mexican-American War. The prevention of inflation and the artificial economic boom also prevent a postwar financial panic, something that occurred following the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
(January 24) James Marshall discovers gold at Sutter's Mill in California. Despite attempts to keep the discovery a secret, word gets out and the largest gold rush in the world begins within months.
(March 3) Congress passes the Gold Coinage Act of 1849, approving the creation of the $1 gold coin and the $20 Double Eagle gold coin.
(March 3) Congress approves the creation of the Assistant Secretary position for the Department of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury is given appointment power until March 3, 1857. Since then, the president has held appointment power.
(August 13) Former Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin dies in Long Island, New York. He was the longest serving Secretary and the first member of any cabinet to be photographed.
(March 3) Congress authorizes the creation of the three-cent coin, the smallest denomination silver coin ever produced.
(July 3) An Act of Congress establishes a mint in California, authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to choose the location.
(March 3) An Act of Congress establishes an Assay Office in New York City. Located on Wall Street, the office accepts individuals' deposits of raw minerals such as gold and silver in exchange for money.
(March 3) An appropriation act provides for expansion of the Treasury Building. The plan of architect Thomas U. Walter is used.
(February 19) An Act of Congress authorizes the Flying Eagle design for the one-cent coin and discontinues use of the half-cent coin.
(February 21) An Act of Congress removes the legal tender properties of foreign coins that were established in 1793.
(March 9) The Confederate States of America authorizes the printing of $50, $100, $500, and $1,000 notes.
(May 21) Confederate troops seize the Charlotte Mint, turning it into a base of operations for the remainder of the war.
(July 15) The Senate confirms James Pollack as the 10th Director of the United States Mint. Pollack is the first director to serve non-consecutive terms. He is first in office from 1861 to 1866 and again from 1869 to 1873.
(July 17) An Act of Congress orders the issue of currency to help fund the Civil War. Known as greenbacks, they are the first non-interest bearing notes created by the government.
(August 5) The U.S. government levies the first income tax to help pay for the Civil War. All incomes over $800 are taxed three percent until the year 1872, when the tax is repealed.
(August 29) The first United States currency is separated and sealed by hand by two men and four women in the basement of the Treasury. The currency is in the form of $1 and $2 United States Notes.
(November 13) Secretary Chase receives a letter from Rev. M.R. Watkinson that is instrumental in adding the motto "In God We Trust" to United States money.
(November 20) Secretary Chase instructs the Director of the Philadelphia Mint to develop an appropriate motto to be used on United States coins.
(March 17) Greenbacks, which have been issued since the start of the Civil War, are officially made legal tender.
(April 21) An Act of Congress authorizes the United States Assay Office in Denver, Colorado. The office becomes the Denver Mint in 1895.
(July 1) The Revenue Act of 1862 establishes a permanent tax collection agency and the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Income is taxed at a rate of three percent or five percent, depending on salary.
(July 11) An Act of Congress empowers the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase equipment and hire employees to engrave and print currency notes in the Department of the Treasury. This later becomes the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
(July 17) An Act of Congress authorizes postage stamps as currency for debts under five dollars.
(August 21) Fractional currency is issued for the first time. The first issue is made up of 5-, 10-, 25-, and 50-cent notes.
(February 25) Congress passes the National Banking Act, establishing new national banks to create a uniform national currency and help fund the Civil War. The act also creates the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to regulate the national banking system. Senator John Sherman, future Secretary of the Treasury, introduces the bill into the Senate first because it is feared the House will vote down the bill if it doesn't already have Senate approval.
(March 3) An Act of Congress establishes the Carson City Mint in Nevada. It is in operation from 1870 until 1893.
(October 10) The second issue of fractional currency is released into circulation. It consists of 5-, 10-, 25-, and 50-cent notes.
(December 9) Secretary Chase approves the proposal of the Director of the Philadelphia Mint for the mottoes on United States coins. However, he suggests that "God, Our Trust" be changed to "In God We Trust."
(February 17) The Confederate States of America authorizes the seventh, and final, printing of currency.
(March 14) Congress approves a second Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. The Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury is established. The Supervising Architect has a great influence on American architectural style and is responsible for the building of many post offices and government buildings.
(June 30) The National Bank Act of 1864 provides a lasting framework for national bank charters, fixing problems that became apparent in the National Bank Act of 1863.
(June 30) An Act of Congress provides for the second issue of fractional currency.
(December 6) Former Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase is appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Lincoln.
(January 30) A murder occurs at the Treasury. Mary Harris shoots and kills Treasury clerk Adoniram Judson Burroughs as he leaves his office. She shoots him because he had married another woman after being engaged to her. A jury finds her not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.
(March 3) An Act of Congress authorizes the placement of the motto "In God We Trust" on any gold or silver coins. The director of the mint is given the power to place the motto at his discretion. However, the Secretary of the Treasury could overrule the director.
(April 14) President Abraham Lincoln approves Secretary Hugh McCulloch's plan to create an anti-counterfeiting unit within the Treasury, the United States Secret Service. It is one of Lincoln's last official acts.
(April 14) John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Lincoln at Ford's Theater. Booth catches his spur on the Treasury Guard flag while jumping off the balcony, causing him to land awkwardly on stage and break his leg.
(April 15) President Andrew Johnson is sworn in and begins using the Treasury as his de facto White House, allowing Mrs. Lincoln time to grieve and plan her departure. He uses Secretary McCulloch's reception room as his office until May 24, 1865.
(July 5) The United States Secret Service begins operating as an anti-counterfeiting unit within the Department of the Treasury.
(November 13) The first gold certificates are issued.
(April 7) An Act of Congress states that only a portrait of a deceased person could appear on currency. The Act is caused by an uproar over the actions of the Chief of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Spencer Clark. Clark places himself on a five-cent note and has a large quantity of them printed before it is noticed. Due to Clark's actions, the already prepared 15-cent note featuring Sherman and Grant is never released.
(May 16) Congress authorizes the creation of the nickel five-cent coin to replace the smaller silver half-dime.
(December 5) Herman Melville, famous for writing Moby Dick, is appointed Customs Inspector in New York City.
(March 30) The Alaska Purchase Treaty is signed. The United States agrees to pay Russia 7.2 million dollars.
(September 17) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing becomes the official title for the currency production bureau.
(February 19) An Act of Congress authorizes the United States Assay Office in Boise, Idaho. By 1895 the office receives annual deposits of gold, silver, and lead worth over one million dollars. It closes in 1933.
(March 4) The First Inaugural Ball of President Ulysses S. Grant is held in the Treasury's unfinished marble Cash Room.
(September 24) An attempt to corner the gold market causes the Black Friday financial panic.
(February 14) The Currency Bureau, predecessor to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, is relocated from the basement to the attic of the Treasury Building.
(June 7) An Act of Congress provides, among other things, that Customs Collectors protect seamen at certain ports.
(February 12) Congress passes the Coinage Act, authorizing the Treasury Department to place the motto "In God We Trust" on all United States coins.
(February 12) The Coinage Act establishes the Bureau of the Mint as a part of the Treasury Department. The act puts all mint and assay office activities under the Bureau of the Mint. Prior to the act, the United States Mint was an independent agency.
(January 29) The United States Mint is authorized to produce coins for foreign governments. The first foreign coins struck are made for Venezuela.
(June 18) The United States Customs Service is charged with enforcing sections of the Copyright Act.
(June 20) Congress authorizes the creation of the Life Saving Medal, an award to be given to those who risk their lives saving others at sea. The Department of the Treasury initially gives the award, but today the United States Coast Guard awards it through the Department of Homeland Security.
(November 25) The Greenback Party is founded in Indianapolis, Indiana. It opposes Treasury policies, and advocates the suppression of bank notes and the payment of the national debt in greenbacks.
(March 3) An Act of Congress authorizes the creation of a 20-cent coin. The coin only circulates for two years. Production ends completely in 1878 because people complain about the coin being too much like a quarter.
(December 9) Secretary Benjamin H. Bristow breaks the Whiskey Ring, investigating without the knowledge of President Grant or the Attorney General. Businessmen and IRS officials had been siphoning off millions of governmental dollars from the whiskey tax for personal purposes.
(February 15) The last fractional currency is issued. Fractional currency was first issued in 1862 because there was a shortage of coins during the Civil War.
(June 19) Three brothers, Lucian, Hubbard, and A.J. Clemons, are the first recipients of the Life Saving Medal. They rescue two people from a shipwrecked boat in Lake Erie.
(November 6) The Secret Service thwarts an attempt to rob President Lincoln's grave. The men attempting to steal the body were planning to use it as a bargaining chip to get a counterfeiter out of prison.
(March 3) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing becomes the exclusive printer of U.S. currency.
(February 28) Congress passes the Bland-Allison Silver Purchase Act, providing for the issue of silver certificates and the coining of silver dollars.
(May 31) An Act of Congress forbids further retirement of U.S. legal tender notes. Previously, the Secretary of the Treasury had been allowed to retire U.S. legal tender notes from circulation.
(September 26) An Act of Congress mandates that coin designs remain in use for a minimum of 25 years.
(February 1) An Act of Congress authorizes the United States Assay Office in St. Louis, Missouri. The office closes in 1911.
(July 1) The United States Assay Office in St. Louis, Missouri opens. The office closes on June 30, 1911.
(November 10) Former Senator Blanche K. Bruce, the first African American to serve in a high-level Treasury office, issues his first report as Register of the Treasury.
(March 11) The Treasury is authorized to purchase the Freedman's Savings Bank building for use by the government. Founded on March 3, 1865, the bank was closed on June 29, 1874. The Treasury Annex is currently located on the site.
(April 8) The House of Representatives votes against the Free Coinage of Silver Bill. The bill would have allowed the depositing of silver in assay offices in exchange for silver dollars in the same way that gold could be deposited in exchange for gold dollars.
(August 2) The Oleomargarine Act establishes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms laboratory system within the Treasury Department.
(July 2) The Sherman Anti-Trust Act becomes law. It is the first U.S. law to limit monopolies and is the oldest piece of anti-trust legislation.
(July 14) The Sherman Silver Purchase Act is enacted. The act requires the government to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver bullion every month with currency that is backed by both gold and silver. This causes people to sell their silver and then demand gold for the notes they received, depleting the U.S. gold reserves.
(January 29) William Windom, the 39th Secretary of the Treasury, dies in New York City right after finishing a speech. He is the only Treasury secretary to die in office.
(March 3) The Office of Superintendent of Immigration is established in the Department of the Treasury by Congress. The office becomes the Bureau of Immigration in 1895 and the Treasury is responsible for running Ellis Island until 1903.
(February 8) President Grover Cleveland authorizes the selling of $62 million worth of bonds to J.P. Morgan in exchange for gold purchased from foreign investors, saving the Treasury from disaster. At the time, the Treasury's gold supply had been reduced to only $41 million because of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.
(February 20) An Act of Congress designates the Assay Office in Denver, Colorado, as the Denver Mint. The new mint is authorized to coin gold and silver.
(April 22) Congress purchases the site for the new Denver Mint for $60,000. Assay operations move to the new building on September 1, 1904, and the mint begins operation in February 1906.
(March 2) The Office of the Supervising Tea Examiner is established. It later develops into part of the Food and Drug Administration.
(January 26) The Senate confirms George E. Roberts as the 17th Director of the U.S. Mint. He serves from February 1898 to July 1907 and from July 1910 to November 1914, making him the third and final director of the U.S. Mint to serve non-consecutive terms.
(April 20) The United States Assay Office in Deadwood, South Dakota, opens. Assay offices historically functioned as places that received gold and silver deposits from miners. The assay office in Deadwood closes on June 30, 1927.
(March 14) The Gold Standard Act officially places the United States on the gold standard.
(September 6) President William McKinley is shot twice in Buffalo, New York, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition. McKinley's death leads to the Secret Service permanently protecting the president. McKinley dies of his wounds on September 14, 1901, after appearing to be recovering for several days.
(April 18) A massive earthquake, one so powerful it is felt south of Los Angeles, as far north as Oregon and as far west as Nevada, is centered in San Francisco. The earthquake and the resulting fire destroy at least 50 percent of the city before being stopped. The San Francisco Mint remarkably escapes damage from the earthquake and becomes a refuge center. The mint is damaged by the fire, but efforts by firemen and workers prevent large-scale damage.
(March 13) A financial panic begins as the stock market begins to fall. The market reaches a low point on November 15, 1907, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 39% lower than on March 13.
(February 18) Postage stamp coils are issued for the first time by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
(May 18) Congress requires that "In God We Trust" be placed on all coins starting in 1909.
(May 30) The Aldrich-Vreeland Act creates the National Monetary Commission. After studying banking in Europe and North America, the commission issues reports that lead to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
(February 9) Congress passes the Opium Enforcement Act, prohibiting the use or possession of opium for non-medicinal purposes. Medicinal opiates remain unregulated until 1914.
(August 2) The Lincoln one-cent coin is issued to replace the Indian Head penny. It is the first circulating coin to feature a real person and the first to feature a president of the United States.
(June 25) An Act of Congress establishes the Postal Savings Depositories. The Act allows the Post Office to function as a bank and is intended to coax money out of hiding from people who didn't trust banks.
(February 25) The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, authorizing federal income tax, is ratified.
(October 3) The federal income tax on individuals and corporations goes into effect.
(December 23) President Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law, creating a new central bank.
(February 14) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing's new building at the end of 14th Street in Washington, D.C., is completed at a cost of almost $3 million dollars.
(November 10) The National City Bank of New York opens a branch in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the first foreign branch opened by a nationally chartered U.S. bank.
(November 16) The Federal Reserve Banks open.
(December 17) The Harrison Narcotics Act is passed. Among other things, it requires opium producers to pay taxes and register with the Internal Revenue Service.
(January 28) The U.S. Coast Guard is created by Congress with the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and U.S. Life-Saving Service. It is designated to operate as part of the U.S. Navy in time of war.
(July 24) Frank Burke, a member of the United States Secret Service working in New York City, steals a briefcase containing all records of German espionage in the United States up to that point of World War I.
(April 24) The First Liberty Loan Act authorizes the issue of $5 billion worth of bonds at 3.5 percent interest three weeks after the United States declares war on Germany.
(October 6) The Trading with the Enemy Act gives the president the ability to regulate trade during times of war. The U.S. Customs Service is charged with enforcing the act.
(April 5) The Third Liberty Loan Act authorizes the issue of $3 billion worth of bonds at 4.5 percent interest.
(April 23) The Pittman Silver Coinage Act is approved. The Act removes a large number of silver dollars from circulation to be melted down and sold as silver bullion. The Act requires that an equal number of silver dollars be minted from American mined silver.
(January 29) The Prohibition Amendment is adopted after ratification by the states. Primary responsibility for investigation and enforcement is given to the Internal Revenue Service.
(February 24) The Revenue Act of 1918 codifies existing tax laws.
(October 28) Congress passes the National Prohibition Act, better known as the Volstead Act, which is designed to enforce the provisions of the 18th Amendment. The U.S. Customs Service is charged with enforcing prohibition at the borders.
(January 1) Secretary Carter Glass establishes the Office of the Commissioner of Accounts and Deposits, precursor to the Financial Management Service.
(January 16) Prohibition goes into effect.
(February 8) Ten thousand people watch as firemen saved the blueprint laboratory from a fire on the Treasury roof.
(February 9) Congress establishes the World War Foreign Debt Commission. The commission rounds debts owed to the United States to $11.5 billion, repayable over a 62-year term at two percent interest. The loans are never fully repaid.
(May 3) President and Mrs. Harding watch from the White House roof as the blueprint laboratory burns on the Treasury roof.
(September 14) An Act of Congress creates the White House Police Force, now known as the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division.
(April 9) The Dawes Plan is transmitted to the Reparation Commission. It is accepted by Germany on April 16, 1924. While a short-term success, the Dawes Plan proves to be a monumental failure because the annual payments required are too large and it requires the United States to give massive loans to Germany to pay reparations. The countries receiving this money then use it to repay war loans to the United States. This cycle means that the stock market crash of 1929 cause Germany to no longer be able to pay reparations and prevent the Allies from repaying debt owed to the United States.
(August 18) The U.S. and Belgian governments conclude an agreement on Belgian war debt obligations to the United States during World War I.
(November 14) The Debt Funding Agreement between the United States and Italy is signed.
(May 20) The Air Commerce Act establishes the presence of the United States Customs Service at airports of entry.
(March 3) The Bureau of Customs is created as a separate bureau within the Treasury Department, but the authority for the collection of Customs revenue is established by the Constitution in 1789. Congress also establishes the Bureau of Prohibition.
(July 10) The first modern-sized currency notes are issued, bearing the series date 1928.
(October 24) A stock market panic occurs, foreshadowing the crash that would happen five days later.
(October 29) Black Tuesday, a massive stock market crash that signals the beginning of the Great Depression, occurs. At the time, the crash is considered to be a cause of the Great Depression but it is now generally considered to have been a symptom.
(June 14) The Bureau of Narcotics is created in the Department of the Treasury to administer laws relating to narcotics and marijuana.
(January 22) The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) is established. The RFC is largely ineffective under President Hoover, but it becomes an important tool of the New Deal under President Roosevelt. The RFC distributes $9.47 billion in loans from 1932 to 1941.
(February 27) Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act, expanding the powers of the Federal Reserve Board.
(February 15) Giuseppe Zangara fires six shots at the car of president-elect Franklin Roosevelt in Miami, Florida. Roosevelt is not injured but Anton Cermak, mayor of Chicago, dies of a gunshot wound to the stomach.
(February 16) The Senate votes to repeal the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, ending prohibition.
(March 6) President Roosevelt declares a four-day national bank holiday to prevent anyone from exporting or hoarding gold or silver. Banks do not necessarily reopen on March 10 because the Emergency Banking Act that passes on March 9 requires federal inspectors to declare a bank financially secure before it can reopen.
(March 9) Congress passes and President Roosevelt approves the Emergency Banking Act. The act forces banks to allow the government to inspect them before they can be reopened. It gives the government the ability to permanently close banks determined to be financially insecure and reorganize banks that are salvageable.
(March 20) President Roosevelt signs the Economy Act, which lowers federal employee salaries and forces veterans to give up part of their benefits for the betterment of the economy as a whole.
(April 5) President Franklin Roosevelt issues an order making it illegal to hoard gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates. Violation of this order is punishable by a $10,000 fine or 10 years in prison, making it a felony to own gold. Eventually, gold coins from 1933 and earlier are exempted from this rule so coin collectors can avoid prosecution.
(May 3) Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman appointed director of the United States Mint, starts her first term. Ross is director for 20 years, the longest term in U.S. Mint history, before retiring in April of 1953.
(June 5) The United States abandons the gold standard. All existing contracts and currency that require redemption in gold are no longer considered valid.
(June 13) The Home Owners' Loan Act of 1933 creates the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC). The HOLC provides money for mortgages for those at risk of losing their house.
(June 16) The Banking Act of 1933 creates the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, better known as the FDIC. Designed to instill trust in the banking system again, the FDIC initially insures deposits of up to $2,500. Today, the FDIC insures deposits up to $100,000.
(August 28) President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 6260, which regulates the hoarding and exporting of gold in the United States.
(December 5) The Twenty-first Amendment is ratified, ending prohibition. The amendment allows states to continue enforcing prohibition if they choose. Several do so, with Mississippi becoming the last state to end prohibition in 1966.
(December 28) President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 6102, ordering anyone still holding gold certificates or gold coins of non-numismatic value to deliver them to the Treasurer of the United States.
(January 1) Henry Morgenthau, Jr., started his term as 52nd secretary of the Treasury. His 12 years of service, ending July 22, 1945, are the second longest tenure of any secretary.
(January 17) It becomes illegal for private citizens to own gold certificates following the implementation of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934.
(January 30) The Gold Reserve Act withdraws gold coins from circulation, provides for the devaluation of the dollar's gold content, and creates the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
(June 26) The National Firearms Act becomes the first federal gun law. It imposes a tax of $200, payable to the Treasury, on carrying certain guns across state lines.
(August 14) President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law.
(August 23) The Banking Act of 1935 removes the Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency from the Federal Reserve Board.
(August 31) President Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, which is meant to prevent the United States government from entering into activities that could lead the country into a foreign war.
(January 13) The first deposit of gold bullion is shipped to the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.
(March 15) The United States Secret Service launches the "Know Your Money" educational campaign in an effort to hurt counterfeiters.
(March 25) Secretary Morgenthau establishes the Division of Monetary Research. Morgenthau also establishes the Division of Tax Research, which eventually becomes the Office of Tax Analysis. Economist Milton Friedman works for the division from November 1941 to 1943.
(May 17) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing occupies the Treasury Annex Building.
(May 23) In Helvering v. Gerhardt, the Supreme Court holds that state employees are subject to federal income tax.
(March 23) The first United States income tax treaty is signed with Sweden.
(October 8) President Roosevelt signs the Excess Profits Tax Act of 1940. The law, created as a wartime provision, heavily taxes corporations when they reach a certain profit threshold.
(March 19) Treasury Order 39 establishes the War Finance Division, which is transformed into the Savings Bonds Program.
(May 1) President Roosevelt purchases the first Series E Savings Bond from Secretary Morgenthau.
(November 18) The United States agrees to purchase silver from Mexico to help stabilize the peso.
(November 21) The Check Forgery Insurance Fund is established in the Treasury.
(December 7) The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, forcing the United States into World War II.
(December 26) The Secret Service escort the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for safekeeping during World War II.
(January 10) The Treasury Hour radio program is named one of the best radio programs of 1941.
(June 4) Lieutenant Maurice Jester, commander of the Icarus, becomes the first officer of the United States Coast Guard awarded the Navy Cross. He is recognized for sinking U-352, a submarine that heavily outgunned his boat off the coast of North Carolina.
(October 8) Congress authorizes the removal of nickel from the five-cent coin. The nickel is needed for armor plating in World War II. Five-cent coins bearing dates from 1942 to 1945 are made up of an alloy of copper, silver, and manganese. The government anticipates removing these coins from circulation after the war is over, so they add the mint mark "P" to coins minted in Philadelphia for the first time to make them easier to identify.
(October 21) The Revenue Act of 1942 increases the number of citizens on the tax rolls by adding a five percent "Victory Tax" on all incomes over $624.
(July 1) Delegates from all 45 Allied nations gather at the United States Monetary and Fiscal Conference, better known as the Bretton Woods conference, in New Hampshire. The conference results in the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The IBRD is commonly referred to as the World Bank today, but it is actually the largest of five organizations that make up the World Bank Group.
(July 1) The Revenue Act of 1945 is signed into law by President Truman. The Act repeals the excess profits tax levied during World War II.
(December 8) The Victory Loan Drive, started to help fund World War II, ends.
(January 1) The United States Savings Bonds Division in the Treasury Department continues the programs of the War Finance Division, the War Savings Staff, and the Defense Savings Staff.
(January 30) The Roosevelt Dime is introduced on the birthday of the late president.
(November 9) Wage and salary controls instituted during World War II are ended by Executive Order 9801.
(August 11) President Truman signs a resolution authorizing a $65 million interest-free loan to the United Nations for the construction of its headquarters in New York City.
(February 26) The United States Customs Service is charged with enforcing the Export Control Act of 1949.
(June 21) Georgia N. Clark starts her term as the 29th Treasurer of the United States. She is the first woman to serve as Treasurer.
(November 1) Two Puerto Rican nationalists attempt to assassinate President Truman at the Blair House. Leslie Coffelt, a White House police officer, is mortally wounded in the attempt but managed to kill one of the assassins. President Truman is not hurt in the attack.
(July 16) Congress enacts legislation that permanently authorizes Secret Service protection of the president, his immediate family, the president-elect, and the vice president, if he wishes.
(March 1) Secretary George Humphrey establishes the Analysis Staff and places them under an Assistant Secretary. The Analysis Staff is eventually replaced by the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.
(March 1) Three libraries maintained by the staffs of the General Counsel, the Comptroller of the Currency, and Tax and Debt Analysis are merged and placed under the Office of Administrative Services.
(November 19) Coin distribution responsibilities are transferred from the Treasurer of the United States to the United States Mint.
The deadline for filing income tax is changed from March 15 to April 15, starting in 1955.
(July 11) An Act of Congress requires "In God We Trust" to be placed on all currency.
(May 9) The Bank Holding Company Act is passed, limiting what other businesses and securities bank holding companies could purchase.
(July 30) President Eisenhower signs a Joint Resolution of Congress, declaring "In God We Trust" the national motto.
(October 1) One-dollar silver certificates bearing the motto "In God We Trust" enter circulation for the first time. They are the first currency to bear the motto.
(March 21) The Bureau of the Public Debt's first computer is installed at its Parkersburg, West Virginia, facility.
(February 12) The first Lincoln cents bearing the Lincoln Memorial background are introduced. The image of the Lincoln Memorial replaces the "Wheat Ears" design in honor of President Lincoln's 150th birthday.
(April 8) The Charter of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is signed. The IDB aims to create sustainable economic and social development throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
(July 11) An Act of Congress, P.L. 87-534, changes the San Francisco Mint to the San Francisco Assay Office. It is redesignated the San Francisco Mint on March 31, 1988.
(January 11) C. Douglas Dillon, the 57th Secretary of the Treasury, approves the official Flag of the Treasury Department.
(March 18) The Office of Budget and Finance is established.
(June 4) An Act of Congress stops all production of silver certificates.
(July 1) The official flag of the Treasury Department is displayed for the first time. The official flag is not the flag of the Treasury Guard, which is famous for causing John Wilkes Booth to break his leg when he caught his boot on it jumping from Lincoln's box in Ford's Theater.
(July 8) The Cuban Assets Control Regulations are issued, placing trade and travel restrictions on Cuba that still exist today.
(November 6) Production of $1 Federal Reserve notes bearing the portrait of President Washington and the motto "In God We Trust" begins.
(November 22) President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas, by Lee Harvey Oswald.
(December 30) President Johnson approves Public Law No. 88-256, authorizing the John F. Kennedy Half Dollar.
(January 23) Production of $5 United States notes bearing the motto "In God We Trust" begins.
(February 11) The Bureau of the Mint begins production of the Kennedy half-dollar coin.
(February 24) Production of $10 Federal Reserve notes bearing the motto "In God We Trust" begins.
(March 24) The first Kennedy half-dollar coins are released into circulation.
(March 25) Secretary C. Douglas Dillon announces that Silver Certificates would no longer be redeemable for silver dollars. They would remain redeemable for silver bullion until June 24, 1968.
(April 24) Secretary Dillon removes the restrictions on acquiring or holding gold certificates.
(October 7) Production of $20 Federal Reserve notes bearing the motto "In God We Trust" begins.
(July 23) President Johnson approves the Coinage Act of 1965. The Act removes silver from circulating coins and authorizes that cupronickel-clad coins be used instead for the half dollar, quarter dollar, and dime.
(September 1) Under the Coinage Act of 1965, minting operations at the San Francisco Assay Office are reactivated with the striking of pennies. Minting operations had been halted in 1955.
(September 17) Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for a new Philadelphia Mint, located near Independence Hall.
(November 1) The new clad quarters are released into circulation. The clad quarters, made of copper and nickel, have their silver removed because older silver quarters are worth more than face value and are being melted down for profit.
(August 18) Production of $100 Federal Reserve notes bearing the portrait of Benjamin Franklin and the motto "In God We Trust" begins.
(August 24) Production of $50 Federal Reserve notes bearing the portrait of President Grant and the motto "In God We Trust" begins.
(October 15) An Act of Congress transfers the U.S. Coast Guard from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Transportation. The Coast Guard was originally established as part of the Department of the Treasury in 1790.
(December 19) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) commences operations. The ADB is designed to promote economic and social development in Asian and Pacific countries and is often described as a regionally focused clone of the World Bank.
(April 1) The U.S. Coast Guard is transferred to the Department of Transportation.
(January 4) Mint marks are restored to United States coins. The marks are absent from all coins issued between 1965 and 1967.
(January 29) Henry H. Fowler, the 58th Secretary of the Treasury, approves the design for the new seal of the Department of the Treasury that is still in use today.
(April 17) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing completes its conversion to the dry printing method. The conversion saves on production costs and increases the amount of currency that could be produced. It also enhances details, making counterfeiting harder.
(June 5) Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles, California. Kennedy's death led to United States Secret Service protection for presidential candidates, beginning the next day.
(June 24) The exchange of silver certificates for silver bullion is discontinued
(October 22) President Johnson signs the Gun Control Act into law. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is charged with its enforcement.
(April 11) The export ban on U.S. silver coins ends, allowing the export of silver coins for the first time since May 18, 1967.
(April 26) Pre-1934 gold coins can be imported into the country and traded without a license from the Department of the Treasury for the first time since 1933. The Treasury decides that preventing the import of pre-1934 gold coins while allowing the same coins to be traded freely and domestically was inconsistent and unfair.
(July 14) Currency notes in denominations larger than $100 are discontinued by the Department of the Treasury. Though issued until 1969, the $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 notes had not been printed since 1945. These notes are still legal tender but are rarely seen in circulation as most are in the hands of collectors.
(March 2) Treasury Order 217 creates the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to function as an interagency training facility for Federal enforcement officials.
(March 19) The White House Police changes its name to the Executive Protective Service. It begins protecting foreign diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C.
(July 1) The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is established by Treasury Department Order 217.
(January 5) The United States Secret Service is authorized to protect visiting heads of foreign states while in the United States. Protection of foreign heads of state began during World War II but was not required.
(January 21) The last United States notes are placed into circulation by the Treasury Department.
(January 25) Several prototypes of the Eisenhower one-dollar coin are struck and then destroyed at the Philadelphia Mint.
(March 31) The first copper-clad and silver-clad Eisenhower dollars are produced for the first time.
(October 1) The first Eisenhower one-dollar coins are released into circulation.
(December 1) The Smithsonian Agreement ends the fixed exchange rates that had been enforced since the Bretton-Woods Conference. It also ends import surcharges.
(December 15) The Secret Service appoints five women special agents. It is the first time a woman has ever held that rank.
(December 18) President Nixon declares that the official U.S. price of gold would be raised to $38 per ounce, devaluing the dollar.
(March 23) The Old San Francisco Mint is saved from destruction when President Nixon declares it a historic landmark and turns the building over to the Department of the Treasury for restoration.
(April 3) President Richard Nixon raises the official U.S. gold price from $35 an ounce to $38 an ounce. The change in gold price was the first made since an Executive Order by President Roosevelt in 1934.
(July 1) The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) becomes a separate division in the Department of the Treasury. The functions of the ATF were previously part of the IRS.
(October 18) The Main Treasury building is designated a National Historic Landmark.
(April 4) The Customs Bureau is renamed the United States Customs Service by Treasury Department Order 165-23. The change takes effect on August 1, 1973.
(November 29) President Nixon signs the Hobby Protection Act. The Act requires that copies of collectible items, such as coins, must be clearly designated as copies or imitations.
(December 1) An interest rate of six percent is set for outstanding and new issues of United States Savings Bonds.
(December 7) The Treasury Department requests authority to make aluminum one-cent coins if necessary, because the Treasury is dangerously close to losing money on each penny it produces.
(December 13) The Treasury Historical Association is established.
(January 21) All operations of the United States Customs Service in New York City are moved into the World Trade Center.
(March 6) The winners of the Bicentennial Coin Design Competition are announced.
(September 23) An inspection to verify the gold holdings at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository is completed by members of Congress. The inspection is setup in response to conspiracy theories that Fort Knox held little or no gold at all.
(December 27) The Secret Service extends protection to the vice president at his official residence.
(December 31) President Ford lifts the 40-year ban, enacted in 1933, on gold ownership by U.S. citizens.
(July 7) The first bicentennial half-dollar coins are released into circulation. The bicentennial quarter is not released until August 18, 1975.
(September 12) Secretary William Simon opens the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Facility in Glynco, Georgia.
(October 13) The first bicentennial dollar coins are released into circulation.
(March 27) Secretary William E. Simon establishes the Assistant Secretary for Capital Markets and Debt Management. The position eventually becomes Under Secretary of Domestic Finance.
(April 13) The two-dollar bill is reissued as part of the bicentennial. Jefferson remains on the face of the bill, but the back now features the signing of the Declaration of Independence instead of Monticello. Contrary to popular belief, the two-dollar bill is still printed and in circulation. The most recent series of two-dollar bill is from 2003.
(September 8) Secretary William Simon dedicates the Treasury Time Capsule. It will be opened in the year 2076.
(October 4) President Ford signs the Tax Reform Act of 1976, increasing the standard deduction.
(November 7) Commemorative ceremonies are held to mark the restoration of the old San Francisco Mint.
(March 30) President Jimmy Carter appoints a woman to be Under Secretary of the Treasury for the first time.
(September 12) Azie Taylor Morton starts her term as the 37th Treasurer of the United States. She is the first African American to hold that office.
(October 10) President Carter signs a law that authorizes the creation of a dollar coin featuring Susan B. Anthony, the first non-mythical woman to appear on a circulating United States coin.
(December 13) The first Susan B. Anthony one-dollar coins created for circulation are struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
(August 13) President Reagan signs the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), reducing income taxes by approximately 23 percent over a three-year period and lowering estate taxes. The ERTA also introduces indexing for inflation into the tax system.
(April 15) The simplified Form 1040EZ is accepted for the first time by the IRS.
(June 25) The Denver Mint produces the $10 1984 Commemorative Olympic Gold Coin, the first gold coin made by the U.S. Government in 50 years.
(October 8) Secretary Baker introduces the Baker Plan at the IMF-World Bank meeting in Seoul, South Korea. The Baker Plan tries to relieve some of the debt problems that Third World countries suffer from.
(October 18) The first Statue of Liberty gold proof coin is struck.
(March 18) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing announces that a clear polyester thread is to be woven into bills to deter counterfeiting.
(May 19) Congress passes the Firearms Owners' Protection Act (FOPA), preventing the sale of automatic weapons and redefining who can legally own a gun. FOPA also prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms from performing more than one inspection a year of Federal firearm licensees. The ATF had been repeatedly accused of harassing licensees by constantly inspecting them, in an effort to prevent them from doing business.
(November 24) Fort Worth, Texas, is chosen as the site of the Western Facility for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The facility opens on April 26, 1991.
(October 19) Black Monday occurs on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 508 points, the second largest percentage and point collapse in history. The definite causes of the collapse remain a point of debate among economists.
(March 31) The West Point Bullion Depository becomes the first new mint since 1862.
(March 18) A woman is appointed General Counsel of the Treasury for the first time.
(September 27) The Department of the Treasury unveils a new $100 bill, featuring an enlarged portrait of Ben Franklin and enhanced security features.
(March 25) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing's redesigned notes with enhanced security features are first put into circulation.
(June 26) A fire starts on the Treasury roof that burns out the fourth and fifth floors of the North Wing. Water and smoke damage the entire building, closing it for one week. The Cash Room suffers heavy damage, with two feet of water pooled on its floor. Investigations later prove that the fire was accidentally started by a contractor working on the roof using a propane torch.
(January 24) Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is established as a new bureau in the Treasury Department pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The new bureau assumes the regulatory and revenue collection functions of the ATF. The ATF is transferred to the Justice Department.
(March 1) Three historical Treasury Bureaus are transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security. The three transferred bureaus are the U.S. Customs Service, part of Treasury since 1789; the U.S. Secret Service, part of Treasury since 1865; and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, part of Treasury since 1970.
(March 31) Secretary John W. Snow establishes the Executive Office for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.