089: A Good Five-Cent Cigar

The U.S. $100,000 gold certificate, issued in 1934, with a portrait of Woodrow Wilson, honoring him for his role in creating the Federal Reserve System. This is the largest denomination of currency ever issued by the United States. Only a small number were printed. They were intended to move funds between Federal Reserve Banks, and were never available to the general public. In more modern times, when funds can be shifted electronically, bills such as this one have become obsolete.


President Wilson pushed a variety of important reforms through the 1913-14 Congress, including the Federal Reserve Act, making this one of the busiest Congresses in US History. As the Great War breaks out, the US remains neutral, but faces a financial crisis.






Opening War Theme

“Hello! My Baby”
Composed in 1899 by Joseph Howard and Ida Emerson. Public domain.

“On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”
Composed in 1897 by Paul Dresser. Public domain.

“A Bird in a Gilded Cage”
Composed in 1899 by Arthur Lamb and Harry von Tilzer. Public domain.

Closing War Theme


Except when otherwise indicated, the contents of this podcast are © and ℗ 2016, 2017 by Mark Painter, all rights reserved. Some music and sound effects used by arrangement with Pond 5.

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