Celebrating Lincoln and the Penny on his 200th Birthday

Press Release                                                                                               
Contact: Mark Weller
(202) 408-3933
For Immediate Release:  November 12, 2009 

"The 200th birthday of President Lincoln gives Americans the welcome opportunity to recognize his immense contributions to the country and a legacy that continues to enrich us daily," said Mark W. Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents (ACC).

In examining ways to pay tribute to the significant and lasting contributions President Lincoln made to the U.S., the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission suggested that a redesigned Lincoln penny series would highlight the importance of Lincoln’s life in a visible way.   The Kentucky design released today shows a simple log cabin and represents Lincoln's modest roots.   Later coins depicting different aspects of the life of our 16th President on the reverse or "tails" side of the coin include:

  • Formative years in Indiana (1816-1830) - depicts a young Lincoln reading while taking a break from work as a rail splitter in Indiana.
  • Professional life in Illinois (1830-1861) - features Lincoln as a young professional in front of the Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.
  • Presidency in Washington, D.C. (1861-1865) - depicts the half-finished Capitol dome.  Lincoln ordered work on the Capitol dome to continue during the Civil War as a symbol that the union would be preserved.

All four new penny designs can be found at the following link, http://www.pennies.org/images/stories/pressreleases/ACC_New_Lincoln_Penny_Designs.pdf

The new bicentennial Lincoln pennies demonstrate the enduring value of the penny and area fitting tribute to President Lincoln that every American can own and cherish.

The image of President Lincoln is virtually synonymous with the penny.  "In 1909, Abraham Lincoln was the first historical figure to grace a U.S. coin when he was portrayed on the one-cent coin to commemorate his 100th birthday.  The Lincoln penny was also the first U.S. cent to include the words 'In God We Trust,'" stressed the ACC's Weller.

In 1959, the Lincoln Memorial was added to the reverse of the penny by U.S. Mint engraver Frank Gasparro to mark Lincoln's 150th birthday. Until today’s new design, the penny was the only U.S. coin to depict the same person on both sides -- upon careful inspection, his statue can be seen inside the Memorial.

The American public continues to have a strong cultural affinity for the penny and Lincoln.  A 2006 Coinstar national currency poll found two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. Mint should continue to produce the penny, virtually the same percentage (65%) as in 2001.  "The alternative to the penny is rounding prices, which is something consumers abhor," Weller said.

"People may view the penny only in terms of its exchange value, but Lincoln is a unique cultural and historical figure. 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.  He is what we think of as a president," Weller concluded.


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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