"America's Library" celebrates its 200th anniversary in the year 2000. What better way to mark a bicentennial than with two coins? Well ... how about making one of them bimetallic?! To honor the Library of Congress, the Mint has created two commmemoratives—a silver dollar and a ten-dollar gold-and-platinum coin.
What began as a library just for Congress has grown into a rich resource for everyone. Today, the Library of Congress has 119 million books, sound recordings, films, photographs, maps, and musical scores, making it the world's largest library. Every year, millions of people use the library's 21 reading rooms or visit its American Memory Web site.
Nearly 500 years before Columbus, Leif Ericson came to the New World. This Viking and his fellow Norsemen landed on the shores of North America at the start of the last millenium—around A.D. 1000. Unlike his icy homeland, the shores Ericson discovered were rich with fruit, flowers, and other plants. He named the new place "Vinland" for its many grape vines.
Exploring was nothing new to Leif Ericson. His father, Erik the Red, was the first European to sail to Greenland and set up a community. In fact, he moved his family there from Iceland when Leif was a small child. This year, the Icelandic government is also creating its own commemorative coins to honor the famous explorer.
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