ANA MONEY TALKS & THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEDAL
Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report inspired by the recent addition of recordings of the American Numismatic Association's Money Talks radio spots. Thank you.
ANA Money Talks & The Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal
In 1992, the ANA launched a series of two-minute radio spots, Money Talks, which were offered at no cost to radio stations throughout the country. Several hundred outlets picked up the daily segments, and frequent authors included David Vagi, Gerald Tebben, Scott Rottinghaus, Bill Jones, Mark Van Winkle, Kerry Wetterstrom, and other familiar names. These well-written pieces featured popular topics and were intended for a non-specialized audience. The January 18, 1993 episode highlighted Martin Luther King, Jr. and was written by Ralph Ross, today the ANA President. Ross noted that numismatic tributes to King were few, and that the U.S. Mint had not released any medals or coins related to King.
On May 4, 1968, shortly after the assassination of King, the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Robert A. Wallace, addressed the New York Numismatic Convention. He spoke in favor of a gold medal honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and these remarks were captured in a U.S. Treasury press release. Despite the good intentions, a congressional medal was not presented to the King family until 2014, under public law 108–368, which awarded a gold medal to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King. This gold medal today resides in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, gifted by the King family in 2014. The medal depicts Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King and remains available from the U.S. Mint in small (1.5", $20) and large (3", $160) bronze formats.
I had these tapes in my library and recently sent them to Len for digitization. This was an excellent program and a great way to promote numismatics in general and the ANA in particular.
I wrote a couple of the scripts - "Communion Tokens" (No. 154) aired May 6, 1993; I also wrote "Japanese Internment Camp Tokens" which isn't captured yet on NNP. Does anyone have recordings from other years? How long did the Money Talks program continue? It was a forerunner of today's podcasts, and could be repurposed as a podcast for today's numismatic listening pleasure.
Image: U.S. Mint medal depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King
Link to ANA Money Talks for January 18, 1993, written by Ralph Ross:
Link to ANA Money Talks (1992-1993):
Link to U.S. Treasury Press Releases:
Link to Smithsonian catalog record for the Congressional gold medal for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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