Thomas Jefferson once famously said, “Never spend your money before you have it.” Good advice in advance of this weekend’s workshop at the Wilton Historical Society for kids that explores the history of U.S. currency in honor of Presidents’ Day.

The program will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Wilton Historical Society. Museum educator Lola Chen will talk with the children about paper currency, coins and the many presidents represented on them. Taking President Jefferson’s admonition to heart, the workshop project will be to create a Mason jar savings bank, and to think about taking the “365 Day Penny Challenge.”

The cost to attend is $10 per child for Wilton Historical Society members, with a maximum of $25 per family; the non-member rate is $15 per child, with a maximum of $35 per family. The fee includes a snack. Please register in advance via email or by calling 203.762.7257.

Wilton Historical Society is located at 224 Danbury Rd..

Did You Know?

1690:  The first paper currency in the United States is issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to fund military expeditions. Other colonies quickly take up the practice of issuing paper notes.

1739:  Benjamin Franklin takes on counterfeiting, using his Philadelphia printing firm to produce Colonial notes with nature prints—unique raised patterns cast from actual leaves. This process adds an innovative and effective counterfeit deterrent to notes.

1775:  The phrase “not worth a Continental” is coined after the Continental Congress issues paper currency to finance the Revolutionary War, currency that quickly loses its value because of a lack of solid backing and the rise of counterfeiting.

1861:  In order to finance the Civil War, Congress authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue non-interest-bearing Demand Notes. These notes earn the nickname “greenbacks” because of their color. All U.S. currency issued since 1861 remains valid and redeemable at full face value.

Information provided by the Wilton Historical Society, from the US Currency Education Program