Treasury Historical Association

Our History

A Brief History


Construction of the Treasury Building

September 7, 1836 – Construction of the current day Treasury Building began in 1836 and ended in 1869, with the oldest functioning part of the building assuming occupancy in 1842. Previous Treasury buildings that stood in its place caught fire and were destroyed, necessitating a new, fire-proof structure. Today, the building still stands directly next to the White House and it is one of the oldest departmental buildings in Washington, DC.


U.S. Department of Treasury Formally Established

September 2, 1798 – The need for managing government finances initially arose during the American revolution, but it was not until the First Congressional Congress that a permanent institution for managing government finances was formed: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury.”


Treasure Historical Association Established

October 18, 1972 – When the Treasury Building was established as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior, three officials of the Department developed a plan to create a non-profit organization to assist Treasury in historic preservation, collections of historical value, and education, and thus the Treasure Historical Association was born.


Series E Bonds

May 1, 1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt purchased the first Series E Savings Bond and subsequently touted them as ‘Defense Bonds’ in an effort to bolster the nation’s finances during World War II. These bonds are uniquely important to THA because in March 1993, THA interviewed Sidney G. Tickton, an Economist at the Department of Treasury who helped to develop the Series E Savings Bonds, documenting a first-hand account of the endeavor.

The Campaign for Alexander Hamilton’s Treasury

Present Day – A grand campaign is now underway to provide much needed restoration for the Treasury Building itself, and for the development of educational outreach programs that will preserve the living history of the Treasury and carry it into the future. These initiatives support THA’s overarching goals of preservation, education, and community building that will extend financial civics and literacy, catalyze American financial prowess, and bolster the Treasury’s mission to serve the American people.