Saturday, November 26, 2005

It's Saturday Night Bar Bet Time

The names of how many States appear on the back of a five dollar bill?

There is an urban myth that all 50 appear, which is wrong. (And, the American flag does not appear above Parliament on the Canadian two dollar bill.)

The names of 48 States are carved around the top of the Lincoln Memorial (because that's how many States there were in 1922 when the building was dedicated).

But only the front of the memorial is shown on the five dollar bill.

The answer is 26 -- there are engravings of 26 State names on the front of the building, as a result only 26 of the States appear on the note.

There is an odd twist, however. This is what the Treasury Depart has to say:

"The upper frieze of the Memorial bears the States of Arkansas, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, and North Dakota. The lower Frieze lists the States of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. In addition, the engravings show the abbreviated names 'Hampshire' (for New Hampshire) and 'Carolina' (for South Carolina). We have no information why the prefixes for these states were not used." [Emphasis added.]

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