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Today in Heritage History, 1861, as an act of defiance against the Federal government and in preparation for war with the North, the State of Louisiana takes over the U.S. Mint at New Orleans. The state also immediately moves to switch their monetary system from a gold-backed monetary standard to a southern monetary system with money backed by corn pone and opossum pelts. To further anger the North, Louisiana removed the images of previous U.S. Presidents on their own minted money and replaced them with etchings of Mr. Potato Head family members, so they would (also) be more easily recognized by Southerners.