It was quite the birthday party for President Zachary Taylor.
Even one of his descendants was among the crowd gathered in Taylor Park in Orange, Va., on Nov. 24, the 225th anniversary of his birth, to celebrate the United States Mint’s release of the Presidential $1 coin struck in his honor.
The launch ceremony was part of the Zachary Taylor Appreciation Day sponsored by the James Madison Museum.
“Millions of Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coins will make their way into the hands of Americans who will see them and remember the life of former President Taylor and his contributions to our country,” said United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart. “We are proud to present this coin to the nation.”
Highlights of the event included a ceremonial coin pour of hundreds of new Taylor $1 coins by Brunhart and Helen Marie Taylor, a descendant of President Taylor. The 392nd Army Band performed music written for Taylor when he was a general during the late 1840s.
Other participants in the event included Virginia Secretary of Education Thomas Morris, State Sen. R. Edward “Edd” Houck, State Rep. Edward Scott and Orange Mayor Henry Lee Carter.
The Mint released the coin to the Federal Reserve Bank on Nov. 19. The agency also began accepting orders for 25-coin rolls of the new Presidential $1 coin, priced at $35.95, at its online catalog, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, and toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
The coin’s obverse features a bold portrait of the former president designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The coin’s reverse, also by Everhart, features an image of the Statue of Liberty. Incused on the coin’s edge are the inscriptions 2009, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mintmark of origin (P or D for Philadelphia or Denver).
Taylor was born in Orange County, Va., in 1784. While he was still an infant, his family relocated to Kentucky where he spent his childhood. Taylor enlisted in the United States Army in 1808, later earning the nickname “Old Rough and Ready.” Taylor’s distinguished military career made him an attractive candidate for president, and he was elected in 1848. He became ill on July 4, 1850, after attending a long ceremony at the Washington Monument. Taylor died a few days later at the age of 65, having served only 16 months in office.