Thanks to the Westward Journey Nickel Series™, America’s nickel changed for the first time in 66 years! Two new designs took their turns on the back of the nickel in 2004, while the image of President Thomas Jefferson on the front was the same as the image on earlier nickels. But the front of the 2005 and 2006 nickels showed new images of Jefferson as well.
The new designs celebrate two events of about 200 years before: the Louisiana Purchase and the westward journey of Lewis and Clark.
When Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States, he bought a piece of land from France called “Louisiana,” an area much larger than the state of Louisiana today…so large, in fact, that buying it made the United States twice as large as it had been before. Since Thomas Jefferson was already on the nickel, it was the perfect coin on which to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1804, President Jefferson sent a group led by Lewis and Clark to explore this land, to describe the flora (plants) and fauna (animals) they saw, and to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean if there was one.