In 2014, the United States is honoring the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the minting and issuing of a commemorative coin by the United States Mint. The coin’s designs are emblematic of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its contribution to civil rights in America.
Equality in education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement. Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 greatly expanded civil rights protections, outlawing racial segregation in public places and places of public accommodation; funding federal programs; and encouraging desegregation in public schools.
Approved on December 2, 2008, the “Civil Rights Act of 1964 Commemorative Coin Act” (Public Law 110-451) requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue $1 coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Surcharges in the amount of $10 for each coin sold are authorized to be paid to the United Negro College Fund to carry out its purposes, including providing scholarships and internships for minority students and operating funds and technology enhancement services for 37 member historically black colleges and universities.
Over its long and distinguished history, the United Negro College Fund has provided scholarships and operating funds to its member colleges that have enabled more than 400,000 young African-Americans to earn college degrees and become successful members of society. Those graduates include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as many other leaders in the fields of education, science, medicine, law, entertainment, literature, the military and politics who have made major contributions to the civil rights movement and the creation of a more equitable society.
The obverse (heads side) design features three people holding hands at a civil rights march. The man holds a sign that reads “We Shall Overcome.” The design is symbolic of all marches that helped galvanize the civil rights movement. Inscriptions are 2014, LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
The reverse (tails) design features three flames intertwined to symbolize the freedom of education, freedom to vote and freedom to control one’s own destiny. The design was inspired by the following quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.: “They get the fire hose. They fail to realize that water can only put out physical fire. But water can never drown the fire of freedom.” Inscriptions are CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, SIGNED INTO LAW JULY 2, 1964, EPLURIBUS UNUM, ONE DOLLAR and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Both designs were selected by the Secretary of the Treasury on September 13, 2013, after consultation with the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
|Weight:||26.730 grams nominal|
|Diameter:||1.5000 inches (±0.003) or 38.10 mm (±0.08)|
|Composition:||90 percent silver, 10 percent copper|
|Mintage Limit:||350,000 across all product options|