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May Coin of the Month

Five-Star Generals $5 Coin

This month's coin presents a double brilliance: the brilliance of gold and the brilliance of military leadership.  It's the $5 gold coin from the 2013 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Program, featuring Douglas MacArthur.

There are actually three different coins in this program.  The other two coins are a silver dollar and a clad half dollar. Between the three of them, they honor five generals who have held the grade of 5 stars.

Why these five generals, you wonder?   Because there have only been five in the history of the U.S. Army!  There have been other generals, certainly, but having 5 stars is very special.

When George Washington was a general in the colonial army, the 5-star grade hadn't been created.  The "General of the Army" (five-star) grade first became law temporarily in 1944, and was made permanent in 1946 by a separate law.

The hero on this coin, Douglas MacArthur, served in three major wars:  World War I (1917 to 1919), World War II (1941 to 1945), and the Korean War (1950 to 1951).  He led in defeating Japan in World War II and in rebuilding Japan after the war.  MacArthur was one of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history, his awards including a Congressional gold medal in 1962.

Who were the other four 5-star generals?  You can find out and read more about this program and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College on the Commemorative Coins page.

—Peter

Peter, the Mint Eagle

Teacher Feature

Image shows the front of the 5-Star Generals $5 Coin.
Obverse:  Douglas MacArthur's portrait appears beside the five-star insignia.

Image shows the back of the 5-Star Generals $5 Coin.
Reverse:  The image features the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, since Fort Leavenworth is the location of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.



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