Paper Money

New York Times explores history of $2 note

The $2 Federal Reserve note was first released on April 13, 1976. The New York Times celebrated the anniversary with an examination of a denomination not many people see or use.

Images from Coin World files.

On Friday, April 13, that day’s anniversary of the United States’ reintroduction of the $2 bill as a small-size Federal Reserve note was the subject of the “Back Story” in the New York Times.

The small feature about the item the Times described as more a curiosity than a currency mentioned some factoids that collectors usually don’t consider. Among them are that the piece is useful for winning over bartenders, as a conversation ice breaker, and for “lending a little spark and humanity to cash transactions.”

The article revealed that there is a website,, that states its primary reason for existence is to document the positive and negative reactions when $2 bills are used in cash transactions. It also noted that there is even a film on the note, called The Two Dollar Bill Documentary, that was an award contender in eight film festivals in 2015 and 2016, is available on DVD, and can be streamed on Amazon Instant Video.


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