WORLD WAR II “HAWAII” OVERPRINT $1 NOTE

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Item Code: 1153-161

A Hawaii overprint note is one of a series of banknotes issued during World War II as an emergency issue after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The intent of the overprints was to easily distinguish US currency captured by Japanese forces in the event of an invasion of Hawaii and render the bills worthless.

This $1 note is a Silver Certificate of the 1935A series. Typical dollar bill with red seal and serial number. Marked “HAWAII” on front and back. Very good condition with a single fold in the center.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, military officials surmised that in the event of an invasion of Hawaii, Japanese forces would have access to a considerable amount of US currency that could be seized from financial institutions or private individuals. Faced with this scenario, on January 10, 1942, Military Governor Delos Carleton Emmons issued an order to recall all regular US currency in the islands, save for set caps on how much money people could possess at any time.

On June 25, 1942, new overprinted notes were first issued. Overprints of the word HAWAII were made; two small overprints to the sides of the face, and large outlined hawaii lettering dominating the reverse. The purpose was that should there have been a Japanese invasion of the islands, the US government could immediately declare any Hawaii-printed notes worthless, due to their easy identification. With this issue, military officials ordered all Hawaii residents to turn in regular notes for these Hawaii overprinted notes by July 15, 1942. Beginning on August 15, 1942, no other paper U.S. currency could be used.

The notes and issuance continued in use until October 21, 1944; by April 1946, notes were being recalled, but are still legal tender at face value. Many notes were saved as curios and souvenirs by servicemen.  [jet] [ph:L]

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