On Feb. 18, hobbyists got a new Millard Fillmore Presidential dollar to collect and U.S. Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart got a workout.
Brunhart was part of a long-planned ceremony held at Central High School in Moravia, N.Y., near Fillmore’s birthplace and then he had to drive for two and half hours to attend a ceremony at the Buffalo, N.Y., City Hall. The latter event was more impromptu, said Tom Jurkowsky, the Mint’s public relations director.
Moravia had gotten in early with its successful request to host the official Mint debut ceremony, but Buffalo was the city where the 13th President retired after his political career had ended, Jurkowsky explained.
“Each new Presidential $1 coin is an opportunity to learn the stories of men like Millard Fillmore, who served in our Nation’s highest office,” Brunhart said in Moravia.
That is probably an understatement considering how little average Americans know about Fillmore.
Fortunately, the Mint prepared a thumbnail biography. Among the available facts is the information that Fillmore was born in Locke (now Summerhill), N.Y, on Jan. 7, 1800. He was elected to serve as President Zachary Taylor’s vice president in 1848, but Taylor died in July 1850, leaving Fillmore to serve out the term.
Fillmore tried to win the Presidential office in his own right twice, but failed each time.
In 1862 Fillmore was named the first chancellor of the University of Buffalo, which is now the State University of New York at Buffalo. Fillmore died in Buffalo on March 8, 1874.
The Moravia Fillmore dollar debut ceremony was co-hosted by the Mint and the Cayuga-Owasco Lakes Historical Society. Sheila Tucker, Cayuga County historian, spoke of Fillmore’s childhood home in Cayuga County.
After the speeches in Moravia, local school children were given examples of the new dollar.
The Mint is selling 25-coin rolls of the new dollar coins for $35.95 each plus $4.95 per order for shipping and handling. Collectors can purchase solid Denver or Philadelphia coin rolls. There are no mixed rolls for sale.
The “P” or “D” mintmarks appear on the edge of the dollar coin along with the date, 13 stars and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Both sides of the coin are designed by United States Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart.
Visit the Mint’s Web site at www.usmint.gov to order or telephone (800) USA-MINT.