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U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for February 25

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:

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LEGAL TENDER

Profile America Tuesday, February 25th. Paper money has circulated in North America since 1690, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony issued some to paper over — so to speak — the shortage of coins. But these were just promissory notes from governing bodies. That changed on this date in 1862 when Congress passed the Legal Tender Act, fixing paper money as a means of paying the government's considerable Civil War bills with something other than gold or silver. One result was that greenbacks became a means of exchange for all private transactions. Currently, there are over 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in circulation. From that total, America's 115 million households draw an average annual income of just over $51,000. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, p. 841
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CURRCIR  
http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/exhibitions/online/exhibition-archives/congress-and-the-civil-war/general-welfare/from-gold-to-greenbacks/3270-hr-240-legal-tender-act-february-25-1862.html  
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401802349.html
http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/National_Banking_Act.html  
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html  
http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr12-02.pdf  

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button). 

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

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