U.S. Money History By Mr. Crowley Jan 1, 1690 Colonial Notes Before and after the revolution, Americans used English, Spanish and French currencies. The Massachusetts Bay Colony issued first paper money to colonies. Jan 1, 1775 Continental Currency Colonists issued paper currency for the Congress to finance the revolutionary war. The notes were not backed and they were easily counterfeited. Jan 1, 1781 The Nation's First Bank The Congress declared Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the first real bank to give support to the war. Jan 1, 1785 The Dollar Dollar adopted as a unit of national currency. Jan 1, 1861 The Civil War On the brink of bankrupcy, Congress issued paper money in form of Demand Notes. Jan 1, 1862 Greenbacks Demand notes replaced by U.S. notes, called greenbucks because of the green tint. Jan 1, 1866 National Bank Notes National bank notes became predominant. Jan 1, 1878 Silver Certificates Department of Treasury authorized to issue silver certificates in exchange for silver dollars. Jan 1, 1913 Federal Reserve Act Federal Reserve Act was passed. It created the Federal Reserve system to regulate the flow of money. Jan 1, 1957 In God We Trust First paper currency issued with the inscription In God We Trust. Jan 1, 1990 Microprinting Microprinting and security thread to deter counterfeiting, Jan 1, 1998 State Quarters Program Program releases five new quarters every year over ten years. 50 quarters feature designs that honor each state. Quarters released in order the states joined the Union. Jan 1, 2000 Redesign of $5 and $10 bills Bills redesigned to make counterfeit more difficult.