Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
Lewis & Clark Exposition Commemorative Gold Dollar (1904–05)
Plinky the Mint Pig here, and boy, do I love gold! It's my favorite color ... next to pink, of course. But that's not the only reason I picked this coin for May. It's also because it commemorates something very exciting that began in May of 1804: The Lewis & Clark Expedition.
If you like tales of adventure, you'll love the story of Lewis and Clark. It all started in 1803, when President Thomas Jefferson bought a huge parcel of land called the Louisiana Purchase from France.
After buying all this land, Jefferson wanted to know more about it. He also wanted to find a way to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific by water. Why? Because before trains and trucks, the fastest and easiest way to move things long distance was by boat. So Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the rivers in what are now the states of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
For two years, these men and their group traveled about 8,000 miles, meeting Native Americans, fighting off grizzly bears, and taking notes on everything they saw.
A Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition was held in Portland, Oregon in 1905 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their expedition. Congress authorized this coin to commemorate the event. It's a great coin to collect ... even though you can't flip "heads or tails" with it.