And speaking of the workings of Congress, Beth Deisher has an article in the May 27, 2013 issue of Coin World on the reinvigoration of the US. Commemorative coin program in the 1980s. A coin book played a part! Here's an excerpt.
United States commemorative coins had descended into the “dark ages” and few within the numismatic community as the decade of the 1980s began held any hope of revival.
Commemorative coin proliferation, highly questionable themes, plus private profiteering in the original series led U.S. Treasury officials to oppose all commemorative coin proposals starting in the 1950s.
The last commemorative coin in what has become known as the “Early” or “Classic” commemorative coins series — the George Washington Carver–Booker T. Washington half dollar — was struck in 1954.
In early 1981, coin collector David John was reading the “Red Book” (A Guide Book of United States Coins). He recalled recently that as he was perusing the commemorative section, he began to wonder “if we could ever do another issue” and realized that George Washington’s 250th birthday was just a year away.
Fortunately, he was well positioned to take action. He was a staff member in Rep. Doug Barnard Jr.’s Washington, D.C., office.
Barnard, a Democrat who represented Georgia’s 10th congressional district, had just been re-elected to his third term in Congress.
Today, John vividly remembers approaching Rep. Barnard to introduce legislation to authorize a new commemorative coin honoring the anniversary of Washington’s birth.
“The first time that I brought it to Mr. Barnard, he was not interested, but I tried again and he readily agreed this time so we had the bill drafted.”
Rep. Barnard introduced the bill (H.R. 2524) on March 16, 1981.
Thirty-two years ago, David John’s pursuit of an idea led U.S. commemorative coins out of the “dark ages” and launched the Modern Commemorative era.
He still collects coins, and specializes in medieval English coins.
To read the complete article, see:
From the start
Wayne Homren, Editor
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