To hold off a financial collapse in Detroit, Michigan’s governor closed the state’s bank in the spring of 1933. Soon a tidal wave of fear swept the country caused by depositors afraid their life’s savings would be lost. Major banks in Chicago and New York tried to halt “runs” by shutting down, but even they couldn’t hold back the panic. America was in the midst of a banking crisis. But help was on the way! Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March, and devised a plan that changed banking history.
On March 6th, the nation’s 18,000 banks were ordered closed for a bank holiday. For seven days people struggled without access to the cash in their accounts. While deposits were still accepted, withdrawals were denied. Before the banks could reopen, government officials had to decide which ones were financially sound, and what would be used for money if panicked depositors showed up to pull out their savings. As a workable solution, the BEP modified existing stocks of series 1929 National Bank Notes. Government titles on the notes were blocked out and then overprinted with the names of Federal Reserve Bank officials and facsimile signatures. In short order, the emergency notes arrived at banks that had deposit insurance.
Today, one of these $5 emergency notes that played a pivotal part in FDR’s history-making decisions can be yours! Bank our choice.