Fort Knox

Money, Banking, and Taxes

The History

Fortifications came about around 1861 during the Civil War era when Fort Duffield was constructed. After the war was over the area became civilized with many small communities and Fort Knox became a training center for the military. The name of Fort Knox did not officially come about until January of 1932 when the camp was turned into a permanent garrison (originally a military base but now used as a home base). The U.S. Treasury Department was moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1936. The Gold Vault (where the U.S. gold would be stored) was officially done being constructed in December of 1936 and gold was shipped in from January to July 1937. This vault holds all of the gold that backs the American economy and other precious items that the country values.

Fun fact: Fort Knox High School is one of only three Army posts that still have an on-post high school.

Security and Secrecy

"The Gold Vault" is surrounded by fences and guarded by the United States Mint Police while the army that is based on Fort Knox provides additional protection to the vault. The vault is lined with granite walls and has a blast-proof door that weighs 25 tons. The depository staff are the only people who know the codes to get into the vault and the depository is protected by layers of security including physical security, alarms, video cameras, microphones, minefields, barbed wire, electric fences, and heavily armed guards.

There is so much secrecy surrounding this place because if everyone knew exactly what was held in the vault or how much gold was held there, there may be more problems with people trying to break in. Also the mysterious aura surrounding the Fort just makes it more important to the government. If there isn't as much gold as everyone thinks, the economy could collapse and international trade agreements could stall. Everyone counts on the gold in the vault to backup all purchases and everything else in the economy.

Role of the Gold

The gold that is held in the "Gold Vault" backs up the entire United States economy. Without this gold, the American dollar is worth absolutely nothing. The gold is something that is transferrable throughout the world so it is needed to make our currency worth something so that we, as a nation, can trade.

Perception is Everything

Even if there is no gold in this vault the perception that there is backs up the economy. If we don't actually have any gold in there and everyone knows that, the American dollar is useless. The world has to believe that there is gold in this vault for America to be economically successful throughout the world.