While Presidents Day is the dedicated day to honor and salute the legacies of the 44 presidents that have led the home of the free and the brave to be the great country that it is today, we (and likely you too) cross paths with many of the Presidents every day. How? The United States Currency.
How did some of the Presidents’ “good sides” land on the front of our coins? Here’s some sense for cents:
- The Penny: In 1909, the Lincoln cent, designed by Victor Brenner, was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth (also celebrated on Presidents Day).
- The Nickel: In 1938, Felix Schlag's portrait of Thomas Jefferson, which began to appear on the front side of the nickel, was chosen in a design competition among some 390 artists.
- The Dime: In 1946, only one year after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, the dime bearing John R. Sinnock's portrait of FDR was released to the public on FDR's birthday, January 30th.
- The Quarter: In 1932, the portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan was selected to commemorate the 200th anniversary of our first president's birth (also celebrated on Presidents Day as well. In fact, the U.S. Government still officially refers to this holiday as Washington's Birthday). The same image still appears on the quarter today.
- The Half-Dollar: In 1964, the first Kennedy half-dollars were minted after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The tragic event generated such an outpouring of public sentiment that President Lyndon Johnson sent legislation to Congress to authorize new 50-cent pieces to honor him.
Happy Presidents Day from all at Arvest Bank! All Arvest Bank branches will be open during normal business hours on Monday, Feb. 20 for Presidents Day.