COURTESY WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1979 to 1981 when production was suspended due to poor public acceptance, and then again in 1999. Intended as a replacement for the larger Eisenhower dollar, the new smaller one-dollar coin went through testing of several shapes and compositions, but all were opposed by the vending machine industry, a powerful lobby affecting coin legislation. Finally, a round planchet with an eleven-sided inner border was chosen for the smaller dollar.
The original design for the smaller dollar coin depicted an allegorical representation of Liberty on the obverse, but organizations and individuals in Congress called for the coin to depict a real woman. Several proposals were submitted, and social reformer Susan B. Anthony was selected as the design subject. The reverse design of the Eisenhower dollar was retained, an engraving of the Apollo 11 mission insignia showing an eagle landing on the Moon. Both sides of the coin, as well as the rejected Liberty design, were created by Frank Gasparro, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint.
One and a half billion coins were struck in anticipation of considerable public demand, but the Anthony dollar was poorly received, in part because of confusion caused by its similarity in size and metallic composition to the quarter. Despite its poor reception, the coins eventually began seeing use in vending machines and mass transit systems, depleting the surplus by the late 1990s. In 1997, Congress passed a law authorizing the mintage of a new gold-colored one-dollar coin depicting Sacagawea, but production could not begin quickly enough to meet demand. As a stopgap measure, until the new Sacagawea dollar coin could be issued, the Anthony dollar was struck again in 1999 after an eighteen-year hiatus; the series was retired the following year.
Special coins for sale to collectors were struck in proof finish through the run of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, and some minting variations are valuable to collectors. However, most circulation strikes remained in government stockpiles for several years after minting, so many of the coins are available in uncirculated grades, and the premium over face value is minimal.
St. Lucia (also called Lucy) was a fourth-century Italian martyr. Her name is derived from the Latin lux, meaning “light,” and thus she is associated with festivals of light. Before the Gregorian calendar reform in 1582 (adopted in Great Britain and the American colonies in 1752), her feast day occurred on the shortest day of the year (hence the saying “Lucy light, Lucy light; Shortest day and longest night”). St. Lucia’s Day is celebrated especially in Italy and in Sweden, where the oldest (or sometimes youngest) daughter dons a crown of burning candles and wakes the family with coffee and St. Lucia buns (sweet rolls seasoned with saffron).
Question of the Day
What is Saturnalia?The Roman Saturnalia, honoring the god Saturn, was held on December 17 to 23 and was a time of pagan feasting. (Saturnalia traditions later became absorbed into the celebration of Christmas..) To start a war during this time would have been a sin against the gods. Schools were closed, courts were out of session, and no penalties were handed down to lawbreakers. It was a seven-day period of peace and candle-lighting.
Advice of the Day
Don’t cross the stream to find water.
Home Hint of the Day
To save on energy and hot water, make it a practice to take quick showers rather than baths.
Word of the Day
LilapsophobiaThe fear of hurricanes or tornadoes
Puzzle of the Day
When do 2 and 2 make more than 4?When they make 22.
- Samuel Johnson (writer) – 1784
- Grandma Moses (artist) – 1961
- Mary Todd Lincoln (U.S. First Lady) – 1818
- Anthony B. Heinsbergen (muralist) – 1894
- Archie Moore (boxer) – 1913
- Dick Van Dyke (actor) – 1925
- Christopher Plummer (Canadian actor) – 1929
- Ted Nugent (musician) – 1948
- Steve Buscemi (actor) – 1957
- Jamie Foxx (actor) – 1967
- Amy Lee (singer) – 1981
- New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman– 1642
- Reverend Eleazar Wheelock founded Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., with a royal charter. His intention was to provide education and instruction of Youth and of the Indian Tribes in this Land … and also of English Youth and any others.– 1769
- The San Diego city council hired moisture accelerator Charles Hatfield to bring rain to the city’s nearly empty reservoirs. He did his job so well that by the end of January, 28 inches of rain had fallen, causing major flooding. The council refused to pay him and he fled town with his secret formula.– 1915
- Woodrow Wilson became the first US President to visit European countries while in office, arriving France to attend the Versailles Conference.– 1918
- The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar– 1978
- Highest scoring game in NBA history. Detroit Pistons 186 — Denver Nuggets 184, triple OT.– 1983
- Tampa, Florida, experienced a severe freeze with a temperature of 18 degrees F– 1962