Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Penny Legislation Passes House, Clearing Way for Presidential Signature

To: National Circuit
Contact: Mark W. Weller, Americans for Common Cents (www.pennies.org); (202) 312-7426

December 14, 2005 ─ The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on December 13 to honor the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth in 2009, by a vote of 291 to 113, clearing the way for signature by the president.  The legislation will make historic redesign changes to the reverse side of the Lincoln penny, which currently depicts the Lincoln Memorial.

Senator John Sununu (R-New Hampshire) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) sponsored the "Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005" (S. 1047), which includes the penny redesign provisions.  S. 1047 is modeled after a bill (H.R. 902), sponsored by Representative Mike Castle (R-Delaware) and Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), that passed the House in April by a vote of 422 to 6.

S. 1047 directs the United States Mint to produce pennies in 2009 that preserve the portrait of Lincoln on the front (obverse), with four designs representing different aspects of his life on the back (reverse): his birth and early childhood in Kentucky; his formative years in Indiana; his professional life in Illinois; and his presidency in Washington, DC.

The Lincoln penny redesign initiative is combined with provisions to create a presidential $1 coin series, similar to the Mint's widely popular 50-State Quarter Program.  In addition to the presidential coins, the bill authorizes a $10 coin burnished with images of the nation's first ladies.  The programs will proceed at no cost to taxpayers.

Mark Weller, the Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents, said the passage of this bill is momentous because, "Abraham Lincoln's political and cultural significance to our nation is extraordinary."  Lincoln's image has graced the coin since 1909, the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Michael F. Bishop, the Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which recommended the penny redesign, stated, "A Lincoln penny series will serve to highlight the important stages of Lincoln's life, and will delight Americans as they go about their daily transactions."


Americans for Common Cents (http://www.pennies.org) is a broad-based advocacy group of business, charitable, and numismatic organizations.  The group formed in 1990 in response to Congressional threats to eliminate the penny.  Information about the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission can be found at http://www.lincolnbicentennial.gov/ .

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President's Day - A Time to Celebrate Abraham Lincoln and Cheaper Pennies

President's Day gives us the chance - at least once a year - to recognize Abraham Lincoln's immense contributions to the country and a legacy that continues to enrich us daily.

President Lincoln is a unique cultural and historical figure," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents. "It's not just that the front of the penny has had Lincoln's image since 1909, it's what Lincoln did for our nation," Weller added "He possessed all the qualities we want in a president -- the ability to unite a divided nation, honesty, strength, and humility," Weller concluded.

For the full press release, please click here


Special Announcement!

Pennies for Pasta and Pennies for Patients

These are run by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its local chapters as part of its renamed Student Series program:  www.studentseries.org

For more information, you should call your local Chapter which may be found by going to the Society's website at: www.lls.org

Please note Americans for Common Cents does not get actively engaged in any fundraising activities.

Collapse of the zinc market means the penny is cheaper to make; saves taxpayers!

A collapse in metals prices means U.S. coins, including the penny, are less expensive to make. The penny has reached its lowest cost in seven years. Each 1-cent coin, made almost entirely of zinc, now costs the taxpayer much less to produce and its likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Click here to read more.

More than Two-Thirds of Americans Still Favor Keeping the Penny

Recent Poll Shows Increasing Penny Support and Concern About Price Increases If Penny Is Eliminated

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A poll released today by Americans for Common Cents (ACC) continues to show overwhelming and increasing support for the penny by the American public. 68% of those surveyed favor keeping the penny in circulation, representing a slight increase since the last poll in 2012.

"These results confirm the strong and unwavering support the penny continues to receive from Americans," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of ACC. Weller's group includes more than 50 organizations that support continued production of the penny.

For the full article, please click here

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