Timeline of the United States Mint: 1900s

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  • April 14: The Gold Standard Act fixes the value of the dollar against gold and the United States goes off the bimetallism standard.


  • June 13: Ceremonies mark the completion of the third Philadelphia Mint building on Spring Garden Street. Cost of building and site was $2,000,000. “No pains have been spared to provide this mint with the best machinery to be had, and…it will be…a model institution.”
  • Mint occupies new building.


  • June 28: Public Law No.182, 57th Congress, authorizes the coinage of the Louisiana Exposition commemorative gold dollars. These are the first commemorative gold coins, produced with two different obverse portrait designs: one with the profile of Thomas Jefferson, the other with William McKinley.

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  • The ‘new’ Denver Mint building opens.
  • April, 13: Public Law No. 111, 58th Congress, authorizes the coinage of the Lewis and Clark Exposition commemorative gold dollar.


  • November 23: Mint employee George Edward Adams, is arrested and charged with stealing gold from deposits while they are awaiting assay. He is indicted, pleads guilty to two counts totaling $45,000 in stolen gold, and is sentenced to 10 years hard labor.


  • February 01: Coinage operations begin at the Denver Mint.
  • March 01: Coinage operations are suspended at the New Orleans Mint due to lack of bullion for silver coinage.
  • April 18: The (Old) San Francisco Mint becomes the financial hub and lifeline for the city after a massive earthquake levels the area, destroying the sub treasury and all the banks. (The structure and its contents are saved from fire by the superintendent and employees. As the only financial institution able to conduct city business the Mint acts as a treasury for relief fund efforts to assist those in need.)

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  • President Theodore Roosevelt appoints Frank A. Leach of California the 20th Mint Director. Although one of the Mint’s major facilities is in California, to date, only one Mint Director has been appointed from that state.


  • May 18: Congressional legislation restores the motto, “In God We Trust” to the coins of the United States.
  • May 30: Congressional legislation establishes an assay office in Salt Lake City, Utah.


  • August 02: The Lincoln cent is issued, featuring Abraham Lincoln in profile, to honor the 100th anniversary of his birth. It is the first circulating coin to show a real person, and a President of the United States.
  • President Taft appoints A. Piatt Andrew of Massachusetts the 21st Mint Director. The only Mint Director from Massachusetts, he serves the 4th shortest-term: 8 months. *

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  • President Taft re-appoints George E. Roberts of Iowa the 22nd Director of the Mint. He is the 3rd Director to serve two non-consecutive terms.


  • July 06: Public Resolution No. 42 [S.J. Res. 111] recognizes Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, his officers and crew of the steamship Carpathia, for their “heroic service” in rescuing 704 lives from the wreck of the Titanic. The legislation authorizes the President to make a “suitable gold medal” to award the Captain from available money in the Treasury (no more than $1000). John Flanagan designs the medal, but it is produced privately and does not involve the Mint. Flanagan is later chosen to design the Washington Quarter dollar.


  • March 01: The medal for the Carpathia is delivered to the White House and presented to Captain Rostron by President William Howard Taft the following day.

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  • January, 16: Public Law No. 233, 63rd Congress, authorizes the coinage of commemorative gold and silver coins for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
  • February 23: Public Law No. 20, 64th Congress, authorizes the coinage of a McKinley commemorative gold dollar in commemoration of the erection of a memorial to the late President of the United States.
  • President Wilson appoints Robert W. Wooley of Virginia as the 23rd Director of the Mint. He serves the 5th shortest term: 17 months.


  • President Wilson appoints Friedrich J.H. von Engelken of Florida 24th Director of the Mint. He also serves the 4th shortest term: 6 months.


  • President Wilson appoints Raymond T. Baker of Nevada 25th Director of the Mint. He was the first mining prospector to be named Mint Director.

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  • The Illinois Centennial Half Dollar commemorative coin is issued for the 100th anniversary of the admission of Illinois into the union. It is the first U.S. Mint coin to honor such an event and features Lincoln in profile on the obverse.


  • May 10: Public Law No. 200, 66th Congress [H.R. 12824] authorizes the coinage of 100,000 50-cent pieces to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the admission of the State of Alabama into the Union.


  • The Peace Dollar is issued to commemorate peace between the United States, Germany, and Austria. It is produced from 1921-1928, and 1934-1935.

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  • February 02: Public Law No. 137, 67th Congress, authorizes the coinage of a Grant Memorial gold dollar and a Grant memorial silver dollar in commemoration of the centenary of the birth of General Ulysses S. Grant.
  • President Harding appoints Frank E. Scobey of Ohio the 26th Director of the Mint, the first of three Mint Directors from Ohio.


  • January 24: Public Law No. 391, 67th Congress, authorizes the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. The coin features James Monroe and John Quincy Adams in profile on the obverse.
  • February 26: Public Law No. 440, 67th Congress, authorizes the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the settling of New Netherlands, in 1624, by Walloons, French and Belgian Huguenots, under the Dutch West India Company.
  • President Calvin Coolidge appoints Robert J. Grant of Colorado 27th Director of the Mint. His term is the 7th longest: 9 ½ years.


  • The Sesquicentennial of American Independence commemorative half dollar is issued. The obverse features presidents Washington and Coolidge in profile. This is the first time the portrait of a president appears on a coin in his own lifetime.

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  • The new quarter dollar depicts George Washington, his third appearance on a United States coin.


  • President Franklin Roosevelt orders a bank holiday, closing banks for four days to prevent a crisis and the hoarding of gold and silver coin or bullion or currency.
  • April 05: President Franklin Roosevelt forbids the hoarding of gold and requires delivery of gold coins to the federal government. Citizens are no longer allowed to own gold coins, bullion, or certificates. The Mint stopped producing gold coins by Executive Order.
  • April 26: President Franklin Roosevelt appoints Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming 28th Director of the Mint. She is the first woman appointed Mint Director and serves the longest term in the Mint’s history: 20 years. She is related to John Tayloe who built the Tayloe house and convinced others to build homes and live in the new capital of Washington, DC rather than in Georgetown.


  • January 30: The Gold Reserve Act withdraws gold coins from circulation, provides for the devaluation of the dollar’s gold content, and creates the Exchange Stabilization Fund.

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  • A new building opens for the San Francisco Mint, which has outgrown the “Granite Lady.”
  • January 13: The first shipment of gold is made to the new U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky.


  • Thomas Jefferson’s portrait appears on the nickel.
  • March 21: President Franklin Roosevelt re-appoints Nellie Tayloe Ross for a second term as Director of the Mint.


  • Second War Powers Act changes the alloy of the five-cent coin to copper, silver, and manganese.

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  • The content of the cent coins is changed to zinc-coated steel due to copper shortage during World War II.
  • March 30: President Roosevelt nominates Nellie Tayloe Ross for a third term as Director of the Mint.


  • Soon after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, his portrait is placed on the dime to commemorate his support for the March of Dimes.
  • August 07: Public Law 610, 79th Congress, authorizes the coinage of 50-cent pieces to “commemorate the life and perpetuate the ideals and teachings of Booker T. Washington.”


  • March 23: President Truman re-appoints Nellie Tayloe Ross to an unprecedented 4th term as Director of the Mint.

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  • November 19: Coin distribution is transferred from the Treasurer to the Bureau of the Mint.


  • President Eisenhower appoints William H Brett of Ohio the 29th Director of the Mint. Position was vacant for over one year.


  • Coinage operations are discontinued at the San Francisco Mint.
  • July 11: Public Law 140 (H.R. 619) provides that all United States currency shall bear the inscription In God We Trust.

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  • July 30In God We Trust is declared a national motto.


  • The wheat design on the reverse of the Lincoln cent is replaced with the Lincoln Memorial, for the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.


  • September 21: President Kennedy appoints Eva Adams of Nevada the 30th Director of the Mint. She is the second woman appointed to this position and begins a long tradition.

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  • December 30: President Johnson approves Public Law No. 88-256, authorizing the John F. Kennedy Half Dollar.


  • February 11: The first of the new Kennedy half dollars for general circulation are struck at the mints in Philadelphia and Denver.


  • July 23: President Johnson approves the Coinage Act of 1965, which removes silver from circulating coins and authorizes that clad coins be used instead for the half dollar, quarter dollar, and dimes. (Third piece of major legislation since the establishment of the Mint in 1792.)
  • August 23: The Philadelphia Mint starts production of the new clad quarters, authorized by the Coinage Act of 1965. These are the first coins to bear the date “1965”.
  • September 01: Under the Coinage Act of 1965, minting operations at the San Francisco Assay Office is reactivated with the striking of pennies.
  • September 17: Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the fourth Mint building located near Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
  • November 01: The new clad quarters are released for circulation throughout the United States.
  • December 06: The Philadelphia Mint starts production of the new clad dimes with the date “1965”.
  • December 29: The first minor coins bearing the date “1965” are struck: the five-cent cupro-nickel and bronze one-cent coins.
  • December 30: The Denver Mint begins production of the new clad silver half dollars under the Coinage Act of 1965.

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  • September 20: President Lyndon Johnson re-appoints Eva Adams to a second term as 30th Director of the Mint.
    Ms. Adams is permitted to extend her term into the next Presidential administration in order to allow her to officiate at the opening of the new Philadelphia Mint on which she worked during her entire tenure.


  • March 19: Congressional legislation eliminates the requirement that 25% of U.S. currency be backed in gold freeing $10.4 billion in gold reserves to meet international demands.


  • The Philadelphia Mint moves to its fourth location.
  • March 28: President Nixon appoints Mary Brooks of Idaho 31st Director of the Mint. She is the first of two Mint Directors from that state. Sworn in on September 18, Mary Brooks is the third woman to become Director of the Mint.

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  • January 16: Mint Director Mary Brooks presents a joint Special Achievement Award to Mint employees Philip B.
    Neisser and Morris V. Boley, for their invention of the clad metal combinations to be used in the production of dimes, quarters, and half dollars. The inventors assigned that patent and all rights to the process to the United States Government, and shared a $5,000 cash award.


  • President Eisenhower copper-clad and silver-clad dollars are produced for the first time.
  • July 27: President Nixon presents the first proof Eisenhower dollar to Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower in the White House. Treasury Secretary John Connally and the Director of the Mint are also present.


  • The San Francisco Mint’s former building, the “Granite Lady,” is partially restored and reopened as a museum.
  • August 18: The Mint announces that the cupro-nickel specimen of the circulating Eisenhower dollar coin will be included in the 1973 proof coin sets produced by the United States Mint.

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  • October 18: Public Law 93-127, 93d Congress, S. 1141, is signed by President Nixon. The legislation authorizes new coin designs for the reverse of the circulating dollar, half dollar, and quarter dollar, to commemorate the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. New designs will be selected through a nationwide competition open to all sculptors who are citizens of the United States. Each of the three winners will be awarded $5,000. It is the first time in history that designs on circulating coins will be changed to celebrate an anniversary of American Independence.


  • Mint Laboratory moves out of space it occupied for almost 90 years in the Treasury Building to Mint headquarters in downtown Washington.
  • April 30: President Nixon re-appoints Mary Brooks as the 31st Director of the Mint.
  • December 31: President Ford lifts the 40-year ban, enacted in 1933, on gold ownership by U.S. citizens.


  • July 07: The first Bicentennial half dollars are released in Minneapolis.
  • August 18: The Bicentennial quarter is released in Chicago.
  • September 11: Mint Director Mary Brooks announces that the Mint breaks with traditional ordering procedures for special coins, offering 40% silver Bicentennial coins under a new Bulk Rate Program that’s open to all persons.
  • October 13: The Bicentennial dollar is first made available to the public in Atlanta. The obverse carries a profile of Eisenhower.
  • October 17: Public Law 94-117 authorizes the Mint to strike medals in commemoration of the bicentennials of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps. The Treasury Department honors the Mint and 11 of its employees for outstanding achievement and cost-savings suggestions at the Department’s 1975 Annual Awards Ceremony.
  • November 28: The Mint announces that the 1976 regular Proof and Uncirculated Coin Sets will contain the Variety II Eisenhower dollar. The Variety I dollars were included in the 1975 regular Uncirculated Coin Sets and in the 1975 regular Proof Coin Sets.
  • December 23: Congressional legislation authorized the President of the United States to present a silver medal to Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager, U.S. Air Force, equivalent to non- combat Medal of Honor, for contributing immeasurably to aerospace science by risking his life in piloting the XS-1 research plane faster than the speed of sound on October 14.

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  • April 01: Public Law 94-257 authorizes the striking of medals to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the last surviving signer of the Declaration.


  • September 12: Azie Taylor Morton begins term as the first African-American and the first African-American woman appointed Treasurer of the United States.
  • October 05: President Carter presents gold medals made by the U.S. Mint under Public Law 96-20 to transatlantic balloonists Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman in a White House ceremony.
  • October 26: President Carter appoints Stella Hackel of Vermont 32nd Director of the Mint. She is the 4th woman appointed Director of the Mint.


  • October 10: Public Law 95-447, authorizes the production of a dollar showing Susan B. Anthony, the first non-mythical woman to appear on a circulating coin.
  • November 10: Congressional legislation authorizes the American Arts Gold Medallion Act (Public Law 95- 630). The medallions will be sold to the general public at a competitive price equal to the free market price of the gold content plus the cost of manufacture and overhead expenses including marketing costs. The medallion is the first gold piece produced and issued by the Mint since the 1930s.
  • December 13: Mint Director Stella Hackel leads a delegation of officials from Congress, the Federal Reserve System, and Treasury to start the coin presses at the Philadelphia Mint to strike the new Susan B. Anthony dollar. The Mint’s Chief Sculptor and Engraver Frank Gasparro is honored for his work on the coin.

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  • March 06: A Congressional Gold Medal honoring John Wayne is presented to the late actor’s family in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.
  • July 15: The American Arts Gold Medallions are offered by the Treasury Department for sale on a mail order basis through U.S. Postal Offices nationwide.


  • June 05: President Reagan appoints Donna Pope of Ohio as the 33rd Director of the Mint. She is the fifth woman Mint Director and serves the fifth longest term: 10 years and 1 month.
  • October 27: Elizabeth Jones is sworn in as Chief Sculptor-Engraver of the U.S. Mint at the Philadelphia Mint. The first woman to hold that position in the history of the Mint.
  • December 21: Secretary of the Treasury Donald Regan officially places the Bureau of the Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing under the Treasurer of the United States.
  • December 23: Public Law 97-104 authorizes the U.S. Mint to strike up to 10 million silver commemorative half dollars in recognition of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s first President, George Washington. The coin carries the date 1982, and is the first commemorative coin since the 1950s.


  • The cent’s composition is changed to copper-plated zinc instead of copper.

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  • The name of the Bureau of the Mint is changed to the United States Mint.
  • May 17: Public Law 98-285 authorizes a Congressional gold medal to be presented to the widow of Roy Wilkins, Aminda Badeau Wilkins, in recognition of his contributions to the civil rights movement.
  • June 25: Denver strikes the $10 1984 Commemorative Olympic Gold Coin , the 1st gold coin for the U.S. Government in 50 years.


  • April 19: President Reagan presents a gold medal to Elie Wiesel in recognition of his accomplishments as a teacher, critic, and humanitarian.
  • July 09: Public Law 99-61 authorizing the Statue of Liberty Coin Program is signed by President Reagan. The legislation authorizes the Mint to strike up to 500,000 five-dollar gold coins, 10 million one-dollar silver coins, and 25 million half-dollar clad coins to commemorate the statue’s 1986 centennial.
  • October 18: First Strike of the Statue of Liberty gold proof coin takes place.


  • June 05: President Reagan re-appoints Donna Pope to a second term as the 33rd Director of the Mint. *
  • September 08: The American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin is struck. The is the 3rd program at the Mint involving gold after 50 years.
  • October 29: U.S. Treasury Secretary James A. Baker, III strikes the one-dollar American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin, the first investment grade silver bullion coin in history issued by the United States Mint.

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  • March 31: The West Point Bullion Depository becomes an official United States branch Mint. San Francisco Mint, an assay office since 1962, is once again given Mint status. (Public Law 100-274)


  • The Eisenhower Centennial commemorative dollar is issued. It features a double profile of Eisenhower facing left as a five-star general and facing right as President of the United States.
  • November 15: The President signs Public Law 101-585, authorizing the issuance of annual silver proof sets.


  • The Mount Rushmore Gold Anniversary commemorative coins are issued. Each of the 3 coins includes Mount Rushmore, with the carved likenesses of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, (Teddy) Roosevelt, and Lincoln.

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  • July 17: The White House 200th Anniversary Commemorative Dollar goes on sale. The obverse features the north portico of the White House.
  • September 03: President George H.W. Bush appoints David J. Ryder of Idaho as the 34th Director of the Mint.
    He is the second of two Mint Directors from that state.


  • The Bill of Rights commemorative coins are issued. James Madison is featured n the obverse of all 3 coins (gold five dollar, dollar, and half dollar).


  • The Thomas Jefferson commemorative dollar is issued and features Jefferson in profile on the obverse.
  • March 25: President Clinton appoints Philip N. Diehl of Texas 35th Director of the Mint. He is the first Mint Director appointed from Texas.

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  • January 06: Secretary Robert Rubin authorizes the Mint to produce the nation’s first platinum coins.
  • December 01: The United States $1 Coin Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-124), Section 4) authorizes the production of a dollar coin, golden in color, and having visual features that make the coin readily discernible. The Secretary of the Treasury was to select the design.
  • December 01: Congressional legislation (Public Law 105-124) authorizes the redesign of quarters, “to honor the unique Federal republic of 50 States that comprise the United States.”


  • The United States Mint catalog goes online. Also, the Mint invites the public to help choose a design for the new dollar coin, and more than 300,000 people visit our Web site.
  • July 09: Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin accepts the recommendation of the Dollar Coin Advisory Committee to depict Sacagawea, a young Shoshone woman who contributed to the success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


  • The groundbreaking 50 State Quarters™ Program begins-a 10-year program in which the quarter’s reverse design is changed five times every year for ten years, once for each state in the Union. H.I.P. (History In Your Pocket) Change is created to teach history, geography, mathematics, economics, and numismatics, funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The George Washington Death Bicentennial commemorative gold five dollar coin is issued, featuring Laura Gardin Fraser’s profile of Washington originally planned for the quarter dollar.
  • July 23: Twelve 22-karat gold Sacagawea Golden Dollars fly on Space Shuttle. The U.S. Mint’s new dollar coin, depicting the pioneering Indian woman who was the guide for Lewis and Clark, flew on the mission led by another pioneer, Eileen Collins, the first woman ever to command a space ship.
  • September 08: President Clinton appoints Jay W. Johnson of Wisconsin 36th Director of the Mint. He is the first of two Mint Directors appointed from that state.

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