You ever wonder what “legal tender” means? Wikipedia has a fascinating answer:
“…During the American Civil War, the federal government was unable to pay its debts with gold or silver coin, so began to issue paper notes to pay its debts, when people refused to accept them in payment, Congress adopted the Legal Tender Act of 1862, compelling them to do so. Thus forced to accept federal notes, the recipients wanted to be able to use them to pay their own debts, and this led to litigation. The United States Supreme Court, with the support of judges recently appointed by President Ulysses S Grant, held that paper money can be legal tender, in the Legal Tender Cases, ranging from 1871 to 1884.
The United States Coinage Act of 1965 states (in part):
“ United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts. ”
31 U.S.C. § 5103.
This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor…”