Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar

Commemorative Coin Programs

Background

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.

The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to mint and issue $1 coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The United Negro College Fund

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.

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Recipient Organization: United Negro College Fund

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.

Commemorative Coin Surcharges

Commemorative coin programs are created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place, or event. Surcharges from the sales of these coins help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public. Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law.

Characteristics

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.

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.”

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.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • LIBERTY
  • 2014
  • IN GOD WE TRUST
 

Reverse Inscriptions

  • CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
  • SIGNED INTO LAW JULY 2, 1964
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • ONE DOLLAR
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Mint and Mint Mark

Specifications

Weight: 26.730 grams nominal
Composition: 90 percent silver; 10 percent copper
Diameter: 1.5000 inches (±0.003) or 38.10 mm (±0.08)
Mintage Limit: 350,000 across all product options

Artist Information

Obverse Reverse
  • Sculptor: Jim Licaretz, Sculptor-Engraver
  • Designer: Donna Weaver, Artistic Infusion Program
Content last reviewed June 1, 2016

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