Why Are Presidents' Faces Put on Money?

A committee chosen by the secretary of the treasury determined that portraits of former presidents would appear on U.S. monetary bills. By law, the secretary of the treasury is in charge of selecting whose portraits and what designs appear on the various bills. The portraits were chosen in 1929.

The committee decided that portraits of the presidents would be most familiar to Americans. They also included three well-known statesman: Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Samuel Chase. Both Hamilton and Chase were involved with the Treasury Department, and Franklin was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Ulysses Grant are the presidents who appear on U.S. bills.