Claim: The letters ‘JS’ can be found on the U.S. dime and represent the initials of Josef Stalin.
Origins: In 1946, the United States changed the design of its ten-cent piece (more commonly known as the dime) to honor
front of the coin now bore a profile of Roosevelt with the letters ‘JS’ visible at the base of his neck. It wasn’t long before rumors began to circulate that the reason for the presence of those letters was that they represented the initials of Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The rumors were completely spurious, of course: the letters ‘JS’ stood for the initials of the coin’s designer, John Sinnock. Coincidentally, the next time a
dollar was replaced by President
Such was the climate of the Cold War era that rumors as absurd as these could gain prominence, even if few actually believed them. Those who bothered to ponder the logic behind them could do little more than shake their heads in bewilderment. What was the point behind these supposedly secret Soviet symbols
If we knew, we’d probably have to kill you.
Last updated: 16 May 2011
Jones, Rebecca. “Legal, Yes, But Paying IRS Bill in Pennies Is More Pain Than It’s Worth.” Denver Rocky Mountain News. 12 July 1998. Landers, Ann. “Ann Landers.”
29 January 1996 [syndicated column]. Viets, Elaine. “A Penny Saved Can Be a Lot of Trouble.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 24 April 1994.