Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Jolisa. Jolisa Wonders, “Is there really gold in Fort Knox?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Jolisa!
That much gold has to be kept at a secure location. So just how secure is Fort Knox? Very secure! In addition to the granite walls and bombproof roof, Fort Knox is surrounded by fences, protected by multiple alarms, and guarded by Apache helicopter gunships.
The U.S. Army finished building Fort Knox in December 1936. Beginning in January 1937, the gold was shipped to Fort Knox by train and protected by a U.S. Cavalry brigade. Since that time, Fort Knox has been mostly off limits to just about everyone!
The gold in Fort Knox isn't really an important part of our economy anymore, though. While the gold used to be kept as a backup to our currency system, the U.S. went off the gold standard in 1971.
Gold isn't the only thing to have been stored at Fort Knox, though. In the past, Fort Knox has been used to store the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, Lincoln's Gettysburg address, the Gutenberg Bible, and the Magna Carta.
The gold stored at Fort Knox represents about 2.5% of all the gold ever refined over the course of history. Even with that much gold, Fort Knox is still only the second largest gold depository in the U.S. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan has an underground vault that holds 224.1 million ounces of gold!