Congressional Prayer Caucus Co-Chairmen Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04) released the following statements in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the day President Eisenhower signed legislation officially adopting "In God We Trust" as America's national motto.
"Our national motto is a powerful declaration that reflects the unique founding of America," said Lankford. "It is important that we honor this motto, because it honors the birth of our great nation. I'm grateful that our country's start was rooted in the belief that there is something bigger than ourselves."
"On this day in 1956, America adopted "In God We Trust' as our official national motto. Throughout our history as a nation, we have at times struggled to find the right words in times of crisis or of great challenge," said Forbes. "Today, as we witness a divided nation, a nation polarized in almost every area, let us hope we once again find the right words in the simple but powerful phrase, our national motto, "In God We Trust.'"
In honor of the anniversary, Congressman Forbes spoke on the House floor about the importance of the national motto and Senator Lankford and Congressman Forbes co-authored an op-ed.
In 1812, after the British bombed Fort McHenry all night and the battle torn American flag still waved overhead, Francis Scott Key penned in the poem that became our national anthem: "And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!'" "In God We Trust" first appeared on US coins in 1864, and President Eisenhower signed the law officially establishing "In God We Trust" as our national motto on July 30th, 1956.
The motto is engraved in several places around the Capitol grounds, including over the Speaker's Rostrum on the House Floor, over the south entrance to the Senate Chamber Floor, and in the Capitol Visitor Center. In 2011, Congressman Forbes led the House of Representatives in passing a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as our national motto (H.Con.Res.13).