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Coin Of the Month

Plinky's Coin of the Month
June 2000

What decisive World War II battle does this silver dollar honor?

Hint: The obverse of this commemorative coin shows a common sight that day—an American soldier storming ashore on the beach of Normandy, France.

It was minted in 1993 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWII.  D-Day, June 6, 1944, Normandy, France.  For America and her allies, (including Britain, Russia, France), D-Day marked a very significant step in winning World War II (1939–1945).  On this important day, the allies achieved a big victory, which eventually led to the defeat of Germany.  They successfully invaded France on the Normandy Coast.  Two months later, they liberated Paris.

Does the name Adolph Hitler sound familiar?  As the leader of Germany, he was notorious for evil deeds during WW II.  Before D-Day, Hitler invaded and took over Poland, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium and Norway.  The allies knew that in order to defeat the well-armed, skillful German forces, they must invade Europe.  They planned D-Day (the allies' code word for that fateful day) for several years.

How many people were involved in the D-Day invasion?  You would be surprised—more people than fill up a few football stadiums.  It was the largest air, land and sea invasion ever undertaken.  Over 250,000 soldiers came ashore.  More than 5,000 ships and 10,000 airplanes participated in the attack.

The young soldiers—many barely 20 years old—exhibited bravery that we seldom see these days.  They endured scary, dangerous conditions.  Faced with heavy and effective German fire, the American forces suffered horrendous casualties.  Several thousand soldiers died that day.

Back home, everyone prayed.  Special services in London and New York drew thousands.  President Roosevelt even ended that day's fireside chat with a prayer for the soldiers on June 6, 1944, D-Day,—a truly momentous day in world history.

The 1995 World War II Silver Dollar Obverse
Obverse:  United States Mint engraver Thomas D. Rogers, Sr., designed an image of an American soldier storming ashore on the beach of Normandy, France.

The 1995 World War II Silver Dollar Reverse
Reverse:  The coin's obverse portrays the shoulder sleeve insignia of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces, with a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower.



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