The day Ike changed the US national motto

'In God We Trust' replaced 'E Pluribus Unum'

President Dwight Eisenhower is greeted by Rev. Edward L. R. Elson of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington after services on April 26, 1959. (AP Photo/Bob Schutz)
President Dwight Eisenhower is greeted by Rev. Edward L. R. Elson of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington after services on April 26, 1959. (AP Photo/Bob Schutz)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sixty years ago, the national motto of the United States changed with the stroke of a pen.

On July 30, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a measure that made “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum,” Latin for “Out of many, one.”

Why did he do that?

A PBS Frontline documentary a few years ago examined the reasons.

“…At the heart of the story is an alliance between Rev. Billy Graham and Dwight Eisenhower, who together melded Christianity and patriotism into a weapon to be used against ‘godless Communism’ during the Cold War. …”

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 1969 file photo, Teamsters Union leader James Hoffa is shown in Chattanooga, Tenn. The FBI has seen enough merit in a reputed Mafia captain's tip to once again break out the digging equipment to search for the remains of Hoffa, last seen alive before a lunch meeting with two mobsters nearly 40 years ago. Tony Zerilli told his lawyer that Hoffa was buried beneath a concrete slab in a barn in a field in suburban Detroit in 1975. (AP Photo/File)
In this Aug. 21, 1969 file photo, Teamsters Union leader James Hoffa is shown in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/File)

Exactly nine years later, President Lyndon Johnson used his pen to create Medicare. It began operating in 1966 and is thoroughly ingrained in American society today, despite many early attempts to repeal it.

Neither God nor Medicare could save Jimmy Hoffa, though. On July 30, 1975, the one-time Teamsters union president went to have lunch at a suburban Detroit restaurant and was never seen again. His remains have never been found and, despite countless theories and investigations over the years, no one has ever been arrested in connection with the apparent murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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