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 REMARKS OF U.S. TREASURER MARY ELLEN WITHROW PREVIEW OF THE NEW $50 BILL


6/12/1997

Welcome to the Treasury Department’s Bureauof Engraving and Printing, and thank you for taking part in thissignificant event. I am delighted that Secretary Rubin andChairman Greenspan could be here with us to preview the secondnote of our new Series 1996 currency. I also am pleased thatjoining us are Governor Edward Kelley of the Federal Reserve, ournew director of the Secret Service, Lewis Merletti, the directorof the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Larry Rolufs, andPatricia Beattie--whose work in important positions with not one,but three, organizations representing the visually impaired--haveearned her widespread respect. Let me also recognize GovernorSuzanne Phillips of the Federal Reserve and Treasury UnderSecretary John Hawke, who are seated in the audience along withour invited guests from the aging and low-vision communities.

I am especially delighted to be participating inthis event at this place -- the Bureau of Engraving and Printing,where so many people have labored long and hard to undertake thefirst major change in our currency in almost seven decades. Manyof those who have participated in the development of this newgeneration of currency are in the audience today, and I wouldlike to extend my personal thanks to them for making the newnotes -- and my signature on them -- look so good.

Since the $100 bill was issued a little over ayear ago and even in the months before, I have spoken tocountless people around the country and around the world aboutthe changes to our currency. I have met with schoolchildren --who, not surprisingly, are fascinated with everything about money-- as well as with chambers of commerce. I have met with rotaryclubs, bank officials, travel agents, and members of the newsmedia. I can tell you it has been a labor of love. Indeed,helping to oversee this introduction process has been one of themost satisfying aspects of my job as United States Treasurer.

Our public education campaign has informedmillions and millions of people about our redesigned currency.Pamphlets and posters are being distributed across the globe. Weare

reaching out to the news media of the world tocarry to the word about the changes in United States currency.Yes, we have worked hard to ensure that the people who use ourcurrency, depend on our currency, trust our currency, know aboutthe new series of notes and know how to verify theirauthenticity.

At the end of this short program, we will unveilthe new $50 bill -- and the striking new universal design featurethat is meant to aid virtually everyone who uses the currency.But first, we would like to remind you why the new series isessential and what changes lie ahead. Of course, change usuallytakes time to accept, but I think you will be pleased with theresults of our work.

And now, it is my distinct honor to introduce theSecretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin.

 

FOR RELEASE AT 2 PM EDT
June 12, 1997

 

REMARKS OF U.S. TREASURER MARY ELLEN WITHROW
PREVIEW OF THE NEW $50 BILL

Welcome to the Lighthouse, which has sogenerously made available to us this wonderful space. Ourpresence--and yours--in this auditorium underscores thesignificance of one of the most striking changes in theredesigned $50 note. It is, of course, the second note to beissued in the new Series 1996 United States currency. I amdelighted that Under Secretary Hawke, First Vice PresidentPatrikis, Larry Rolufs, director of the Bureau of Engraving andPrinting, Brian Gimlett of the Secret Service, and Dr. BarbaraSilverstone of the Lighthouse could join us today. Thank you somuch, Dr. Silverstone, for inviting us to hold this event here.

Since the $100 bill was issued a little over ayear ago, and even in the months before, I have spoken tocountless people around the country and around the world aboutthe changes to our currency. I have met with schoolchildren --who, not surprisingly, are fascinated with everything about money-- as well as with chambers of commerce. I have met with rotaryclubs, bank officials, travel agents, and members of the newsmedia. I can tell you it has been a labor of love. Indeed,helping to oversee this introduction process has been one of themost satisfying aspects of my job as United States Treasurer. (Idon’t suppose the presence of my signature on the note has asingle thing to do with much, in fact, I love my job.)

The truth is I am proud. I am proud of the roleour currency plays all over the world. I am proud of howrecognizable it is, how much trust everyone has in it. And I amproud at how well we have been able to inform the people who useour currency about the changes we are making in it to stay a stepahead of counterfeiters.

Our public education campaign has informedmillions and millions of people about our redesigned currency.Pamphlets and posters are being distributed across the globe. Weare reaching out to the news media of the world to carry to theword about the changes in United States currency. Yes, we haveworked hard to ensure that the people who use our currency,depend on our currency, trust our currency, know about the newseries of notes and know how to verify their authenticity.

At the end of this short program, we will unveilthe new $50 bill--and the striking new universal design featurethat is meant to aid virtually everyone who uses the currency.But first, we would like to remind you why the new series isessential and what changes lie ahead. Of course, change usuallytakes time to accept, but I think you will be pleased with theresults of our work.

And now, it is my distinct honor to introduceJohn D. Hawke, Under Secretary of the Treasury, under whosedirect guidance the new series is being issued.

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