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Governor James Pollock Remembrance Day

April 22, 2014
The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution recognizing April 22nd as “Governor James Pollock Remembrance Day” in the Commonwealth. Senator John Gordner of Columbia County said “former Pennsylvania Governor James Pollock was a great Pennsylvanian who devoted his life to public service. Among his many achievements were the following:”

He served as District Attorney for Northumberland County from 1836 to 1838. Then he served Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District in the United States Congress from 1844-1849. 

As a member of Congress, he was an advocate of Samuel Morse and was instrumental in convincing Congress to appropriate funds to erect the first telegraph transmission lines. He also was a major advocate for the establishment of a transcontinental railroad.

Mr. Pollock served as the president judge of Pennsylvania’s Eighth Judicial District from 1850 to 1854. He served as Pennsylvania’s 13th Governor from 1855 to 1858. As Governor, he signed the charter to establish Penn State University and was among the founding Board of Trustees of the school.

He also served as the Director of the United States Mint from 1861 to 1866 and from 1869 to 1873. As Director, he was urged by President Abraham Lincoln to craft a motto that would help reunite the country in a time of significant upheaval. He is credited with developing the “In God We Trust” motto that is still in use by the United States Mint to this very day.

 An Act of Congress on April 22, 1864 officially adopted that motto to be used on the penny. April 22, 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of that important action.

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