Washington, D.C. – Valentine’s Day 2008 will mean more to Americans than chocolate and flowers. February 14, 2008, is the day the Nation may exchange dollar bills at banks and financial institutions for shiny new Presidential $1 Coins honoring a President who was beloved in his time, James Monroe. Monroe’s Presidency was known as “The Era of Good Feelings,” and he was one of the country’s most popular chief executives. Monroe served as the Nation’s fifth President from 1817 to 1825 and, accordingly, this is the United States Mint’s fifth Presidential $1 Coin. When President Monroe took office, the War of 1812 had ended, the Nation was expanding beyond the original 13 colonies and there were few political conflicts. When he was re-elected in 1820, President Monroe won all but one of the electoral votes in every state. Dozens of towns, cities and counties nationwide are named after Monroe and, of special significance on this Valentine’s Day, Monroe’s daughter, Maria Hester, was married in the first White House wedding. “The James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin is a tribute to a great President,” said Acting United States Mint Deputy Director Dan Shaver. “We hope that when people spend this coin, they’ll remember that Monroe distinguished himself as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and served his Nation as a U.S. Senator, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and finally as our fifth President. Above all, he was widely known for his exceptional energy, character, and poise. President James Monroe made remarkable contributions to our Nation.” On Wednesday, February 13, 2008, the home of James and Elizabeth Monroe, Ash Lawn-Highland, near Charlottesville, Virginia, will become the first place in the Nation where Americans may obtain the new James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins a day before they go into circulation. There will be a brief ceremony at 11:00 a.m., and a coin exchange will follow. The public and news media are invited. This year, the Nation will mark the 250th anniversary of President Monroe’s birth on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. James Monroe fought in the Revolutionary War and was painted holding the flag behind General George Washington in the famous work, “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze. President Monroe was the author of the Monroe Doctrine, which became a longstanding tenet of U.S. foreign policy. The three main concepts of the doctrine – separate spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention – were designed to signify a clear break between the New World and the European powers. The design of the James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin, like all of the Presidential $1 Coins, was created to be bold and dramatic. Edge-lettering draws attention to the inscriptions “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust,” as well as the date and the mint mark. Next year, the 2009 Presidential $1 Coins will bear “In God We Trust” on the front or back of the coin, as mandated by Congress in December 2007. The obverse (heads side) of the James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Joseph Menna. The reverse (tails side) on all the Presidential $1 Coins is a magnificent image of the Statue of Liberty, designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The United States Mint inaugurated the Presidential $1 Coin Series with the George Washington Presidential $1 Coin on February 15, 2007, in time for Presidents Day weekend. The John Adams Presidential $1 Coin followed on May 17, 2007, the Thomas Jefferson Presidential $1 Coin was launched on August 16, 2007, and the James Madison Presidential $1 Coin went into circulation on November 15, 2007.
Photographs of the circulating James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin are available at http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#Pres.
TV Stations/Networks only:
Satellite Feed of B-roll Showing Manufacturing of James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. ET, Galaxy 26, C Transponder 9; and on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.-4:45 a.m. ET, Galaxy 26, C Transponder 9. More information about the Presidential $1 Coin Program is available at http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/$1coin/index.cfm. Free lesson plans about the Presidents and the Presidential $1 Coin Program may be downloaded at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/. Additional informational materials about the Presidents and the Presidential $1 Coin Program are available online.
History of the Presidential $1 Coin Program Congress authorized, and President Bush approved, the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Act). The Act requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue Presidential $1 Coins honoring the United States Presidents in the order in which they served, with four new designs annually. Each President will be honored with a single Presidential $1 Coin, regardless of the number of consecutive terms he served, except for Grover Cleveland, the only U.S. President to serve non-consecutive terms. He will be honored on two coins. No living former or current President can be honored on a Presidential $1 Coin.
Unique Designs Honor Historic Figures The new Presidential $1 Coins are identical in color and size to the Golden Dollar featuring Sacagawea, and have the same distinctive rim and tactile features to assist the visually impaired. The obverse (heads side) of each coin will feature an image of a former President and the years of his term of office. The reverse (tails side) displays an image of the Statue of Liberty and the inscriptions “United States of America” and “$1.”
Distributed through Banks and Other Financial Institutions The United States Mint and the Federal Reserve are taking steps to enable businesses and the public to obtain the new James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin and all of the Presidential $1 Coins. Like the four Presidential $1 Coins before it, the James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins will be shipped to banks and other financial institutions in rolls and small bags, unmixed with other $1 coins. Banks may order and store each Presidential $1 Coin up to two weeks before its introduction so financial institutions will have supplies on hand on the release date. The coins will be available to banks in unmixed rolls and bags for four weeks after their introduction. However, banks may re-order Presidential $1 Coins after the four-week window, in case there are remaining supplies.