Did You Know?
In 1864, Congress authorized the issuance of a number of fractional currency notes which the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to design. Though he had been asked to print the face of "Clark" (as in Lewis and Clark, possibly) on the five cent note, Spencer Clark, the superintendent of the National Currency Bureau, decided to print his own image on the notes without properly consulting higher authorities. After the notes had been printed and his decision discovered, both his superiors and Congress were enraged at his daring design choices. As a result, a law was passed which restricted who could be shown on U.S. currency - "no portrait or likeness of any living person shall be engraved or placed upon any of the bonds, securities, notes, or postal currency of the United States."Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4