"....be advised that your vault box must remain sealed, and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the Internal Revenue Service...." President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933 -------------------------------------------------------------- On March 6, 1933, using provisions found in Section 5 ( b ) of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 [The Trading With The Enemy Act was passed In 1917. This legislation is still in place.] Roosevelt began his assault on a citizen's right to own gold. Its article 5 ( b ) states that: "The President may investigate, regulate or prohibit, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange for the export, hoarding, melting, or earmarking of gold or silver coins or bullion or currency." Americans awoke to find that their bank accounts and assets had been frozen by government decree. In this, his first "official" act in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had declared a banking "holiday" and issued the order to confiscate gold: Gold owners were bullied and compelled to turn in their gold for freshly printed paper dollars. Within months, the gold backed U.S. dollar, the strongest currency in the world since 1792, was no more. The following is a reprint of Roosevelt's Executive Order ( dated April 5, 1933 ) : Executive Order: "By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5 ( B ) of the Act of Oct. 6, 1917, as amended by section 2 of the Act of March 9,1933, in which Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I as President, do declare that the national emergency still exists; that the continued private hoarding of gold and silver by subjects of the United States poses a grave threat to the peace, equal justice, and well-being of the United States; and that appropriate measures must be taken immediately to protect the interests of our people." "Therefore, pursuant to the above authority, I hereby proclaim that such gold and silver holdings are prohibited, and that all such coin, bullion or other possessions of gold and silver be tendered within fourteen days to agents of the Government of the United States for compensation at the official price, in the legal tender of the Government. All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed, pending action in the due course of the law. All sales or purchases or movements of such gold and silver within the borders of the United States and its territories, and all foreign exchange transactions or movements of such metals across the border are hereby prohibited." "Your possession of these proscribed metals and/or your maintenance of a safe-deposit box to store them is known to the government from bank and insurance records. Therefore, be advised that your vault box must remain sealed, and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the Internal Revenue Service." By lawful Order given this day, "The President of the United States." On March 9, 1933, Congress rubber-stamped retroactive legislation titled "The Emergency Banking Act" which, in fact, had little to do with banking and much to do with the private ownership of gold. Ownership of gold was now considered illegal. Criminal penalties for "hoarding" were imposed calling for a maximum $10,000 fine and 10 years in prison, or both.