Presidency in Washington, D.C. Lincoln Penny

Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Program

Background

In 2009, the United States Mint issued four different pennies throughout the year in recognition of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth and centennial of the first year of the Lincoln cent. The themes on the reverses represent the four major aspects of Lincoln’s life.

Presidency in Washington, D.C. (1861-1865)

On this coin, the US Capitol building’s dome is still under construction, as it was during Lincoln’s term in office. The dome continued to rise as the Civil War raged and the Union struggled to remain united.

The war began just after Lincoln took office in 1861. During his second year as president, Lincoln declared all slaves free in the rebel territory through the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln was elected for a second term in 1864 and the war finally came to an end the following year.

Just 5 days after the war ended, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while watching a play in Washington. Army doctors worked all night to save him, but he died the next morning at the age of 56. Before he was buried in Springfield, Illinois, his body lay in state, visited by thousands of mourners, under the Capitol’s newly-completed dome.

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Coin Characteristics

Obverse (heads): Show the familiar Victor David Brenner likeness of President Lincoln featured since 1909.

Reverse (tails): Features the half finished United States Capitol dome.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • LIBERTY
  • 2009

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • ONE CENT
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM

Specifications

The circulating version of these coins uses the same metal content as other modern cents (2.5 percent copper, the rest zinc). The uncirculated version contains the metals used in the original 1909 cent (95 percent copper, 5 percent tin and zinc).

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner
Reverse
  • Sculptor: Joseph Menna, Sculptor-engraver
  • Designer: Susan Gamble
Content last reviewed December 23, 2016

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