Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar
You've probably heard of the Lincoln Memorial. That's the monument in the District of Columbia that has appeared on the back of the one-cent coin for most of the 20th Century. Well, although the Lincoln Memorial doesn't appear on this commemorative silver dollar, both the dollar and the penny have a lot in common with the Memorial.
For one thing, they all pay tribute to the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. While the penny's design first appeared on Lincoln's one-hundredth birth anniversary (1909) and the Memorial was built soon after (between 1914 and 1922), the commemorative dollar marks his two-hundredth anniversary (2009).
The words on the back of the dollar are from the end of a speech Lincoln gave at the opening of a cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The entire speech, known as the Gettysburg Address, is also inscribed on a stone tablet inside the Lincoln Memorial.
On the back of the penny, you can see a tiny figure inside the Memorial. This represents the statue of Abraham Lincoln that sits in the actual monument, but is slightly larger. Okay, the statue is much, much larger: more than 19 feet tall! Combined with its 11-foot-high base, Lincoln's statue towers as tall as a three-story building.
So President Lincoln's face appears in all three places: the statue, the penny, and this commemorative dollar. And although this dollar doesn't show the Memorial like the penny does, the dollar's portrait is partly based on the statue of Lincoln inside the Memorial.
Be sure to read more about Abraham Lincoln and this cool coin on the Commemorative Coins page!