Hawaiian Dollars

Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, US officials were worried about a Japanese invasion and occupation of those islands. One particular concern was the disposition of US currency in banks in Hawaii. They could not allow that money to fall into Japanese hands. So the military governor of Hawaii found a clever solution:

In January of 1942, the military governor of Hawaii (the territory was under the military's control after the Pearl Harbor bombing) recalled most of the currency in the future state, with some allowances as to not pull all of the cash out of the islands' economy. Five months later, bills like the one pictured -- called "Hawaii overprint notes" -- were issued. The theory was simple: if Hawaii fell into Japanese hands, these bills would no longer be legal tender in the United States. This contingency plan never came into play.

In total, over 65 million Hawaii overprint notes were created (totalling over $300 million), in four denominations -- $1, $5, $10, and $20, with the $5 note pictured above the rarest of the quartet. On October 21, 1944, ten months before Victory over Japan Day, the required use of these bills ceased.

It's a pity that they didn't put Lincoln in a Hawaiian shirt. He always looked good in Hawaiian shirts.

Link | Image: Coins & Banknotes

Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Hawaiian Dollars"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More