Dave Hirt writes:
In last Saturday's Wall Street Journal
there was an interesting picture of president Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Emergency Banking Bill in 1933, with Secretary of the Treasury William Woodin leaning over his shoulder.
Looking at this photo reminded me how thankful that collectors can be that Woodin was in the position that he was to help save collectable coins from the gold recall.
I couldn't find the WSJ article, but did locate a copy of the photos of Woodin and FDR. Below is an excerpt of Woodin's Wikipedia entry.
In March 4, 1933, when President Roosevelt first took the oath of office, banks were closing their doors all over the United States as waves of panic led depositors to demand immediate payment of their money. Woodin was the point man in the Administration's declaration of a "Bank Holiday" which closed every bank in the U.S. until bank examiners could determine which were sound enough to re-open. With "seals of approval" from the examiners, depositors regained confidence, and the vast majority left their money in bank deposits. This became the fore-runner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other such Federal guarantees intended to foster the trust which is essential to the entire financial system.
Woodin also presided over the Roosevelt Administration's withdrawal from the international monetary conference in London and decision to take the United States off the international gold standard. While he was Secretary of the Treasury, the Administration also began the decision-making process that eventually led to the Administration's decision to buy all the gold in private hands in the United States (other than that used by dentists and jewelers) and to devalue the dollar. Under Secretary Acheson was so opposed to the latter two decisions that he resigned in protest.
Woodin was also an avid coin collector, and when gold was withdrawn from private hands, he made certain an exception was put in place for "rare or unusual" coin types.
To read the complete article, see:
William H. Woodin
Wayne Homren, Editor
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