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Early debut for Harrison dollar

Three days ahead of the official release of the William Henry Harrison Presidential dollar, a special ceremonial introduction was held Feb. 16 at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, Va., Harrison’s home.

Leading the observance was the U.S. Mint’s deputy director, Andy Brunhart.

“We honor William Henry Harrison today, our nation’s ninth President,” Brunhart told the crowd.

Harrison has the unhappy distinction of being the first U.S. President to die in office after having contracted pneumonia about a month after his 1841 inauguration.

The Harrison coin has the distinction of being the first Presidential dollar to have the motto “In Got We Trust” on the obverse.

The prior eight coins in the series have the motto on the edge, a location that prompted public outcry and congressional action to move the motto to the obverse.

Remaining on the dollar’s edge are the incused date of 2009, “E Pluribus Unum” and the “P” or “D” mintmark.
Thousands of Harrison coins were poured onto a velvet cloth to signal their arrival.

Afterwards, each child 18 years old or younger was given a newly minted $1 coin and adults exchanged their currency for rolls of the coin. On Feb. 19 the coins officially entered circulation.

The obverse was done by Mint sculptor-engraver Joe Menna. The reverse is by Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart

Following the Harrison coin at roughly three-month intervals will be dollar coins for John Tyler, James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor.

For more information, visit the Mint’s Web site at www.usmint.gov.

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