CNN

Yellen sees her signature printed on US bills for the first time

Dec 8, 2022, 1:04 PM | Updated: 1:20 pm
Two women are signing banknotes....
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Treasury Chief Lynn Malerba sign on banknotes during the unveiling of the first U.S. banknotes printed with two women's signatures at an event in Fort Worth, Texas, December 8. (Shelby Tauber/Reuters)
(Shelby Tauber/Reuters)

(CNN) — US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Texas Thursday to mark an important and historic milestone, touring the Fort Worth Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility to observe firsthand the printing of $1 and $5 bills with her signature for the first time.

Yellen became the latest Treasury secretary to sign US currency and the first woman Treasury secretary to have her signature on a US banknote. US Treasurer Lynn Malerba also signed the note, marking the first time the signatures of two women are featured on US currency and the first time a Native American’s signature has appeared on US currency.

It’s been tradition for more than a century that both the US treasurer and the Treasury secretary sign currency to make the bills legal tender. And despite Yellen being in her role since January 2021, it’s taken until now because of the delayed appointment of a new treasurer. In June, President Joe Biden appointed Malerba to the post.

Yellen and Malerba viewed the official engraving plates of sheets of dollars, using magnifying glasses to see their signatures. Yellen was then shown how to engrave a number into a conduction plate that will be used to produce the currency. She even got to push a button to print sheets of new bills.

Yellen said in remarks after her tour that she was “truly honored” by the banknotes, which will be delivered to the Federal Reserve this month and begin to circulate to Americans’ wallets “starting in the new year.”

“You would think this would be a straightforward process. But the founding fathers did not account for what seems to be a common attribute for Treasury secretaries — namely, terrible handwriting,” Yellen joked.

“I will admit I spent some quality time practicing my signature before submitting it,” she added.

The newly printed bills feature the signatures of “Lynn Roberge Malerba” and “Janet L. Yellen,” both written in clear, legible script.

The Fort Worth facility is one of just two places where paper currency is printed in the United States, a Treasury official told CNN, and prints more than half of new bills every year. The new bills are only being printed at this facility as of now, the official noted, but will begin to be printed at a second facility in Washington, DC, eventually.

Yellen honored the contributions of women at the Treasury Department and in the economics profession more broadly, touting a 62% female workforce in her department as an important signal of progress in a once-male-dominated field.

She outlined women’s history in the Treasury Department, including a “dedicated effort” to hire women during the Civil War, when “men were in short supply and women were cheaper to hire.”

“I hope that today is a reminder of the road we’ve traveled on equity and inclusion. And I hope it motivates us to continue to move forward,” she said.

Yellen also spoke to the broader efforts of engraving and printing federal employees.

“The currency that you produce here touches just about everyone in the United States and millions more across the world. Our currency is essential to the functioning of the financial system. And its integrity is core to our national security,” she said.

Currency, Yellen said, “plays a critical role in our economy” but also “has a deeper social purpose.”

“Currency is something we use and we touch every day. And when done right, it can tell us who we are, what we value, and what is possible,” she said.

She continued, “Today is not about me, or Lynn, new signatures on our currency. It’s about our collective work to create a stronger and more inclusive economy. At the end of the day, the field of economics is not about numbers or theory. It is about improving the lives of ordinary people.”


— CNN’s Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

CNN

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 07:  A general view of the skyline of downtown Dallas, Texas as the American Airl...
KELSY MITTAUER

Arrest made in sex trafficking of teen girl who disappeared at Mavs game

Nine months after a Texas girl was sex trafficked after disappearing from a Mavericks game, an arrest has been made.
20 hours ago
Lisa Loring...
Toyin Owoseje and Amanda Watts, CNN

Lisa Loring, original Wednesday Addams actress, dead at 64

Lisa Loring, best known as the first actress to play Wednesday Addams in the original "The Addams Family" sitcom, has died at the age of 64.
20 hours ago
In 2022, the San Antonio Zoo received more than 8,000 donations from all 50 states and over 30 diff...
Yenny Sanchez

San Antonio Zoo will let you name a cockroach after an ex and feed it to an animal

The San Antonio Zoo is offering a special Valentine's Day greeting for exes who just won't bug off.
20 hours ago
Dallas is among cities adversely affected by the latest bout of winter weather. (KTVT via CNN)...
Marnie Hunter and Gregory Wallace

More than 1,000 US flights canceled as winter weather snarls travel

More than 1,000 Monday flights have been canceled in the United States as winter weather moves through the middle of the country.
20 hours ago
Motown singer and songwriter Barrett Strong, here in 2004, has died. (Louis Lanzano/AP)...
Marianne Garvey and Amanda Watts

Barrett Strong, Motown singer and songwriter, dead at 81

Barrett Strong, one of Motown’s founding artists and most gifted songwriters who sang lead on the company’s breakthrough single “Money (That’s What I Want)” and later collaborated on such classics as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and “War,” has died.
20 hours ago
A masked suspect is seen lighting a Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner Tamid in a still image ...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Yellen sees her signature printed on US bills for the first time