ST. LOUIS – The United States Mint and the National Park Service hosted a launch ceremony to celebrate the release of the new Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coin today, the 148th anniversary of Grant’s Civil War Vicksburg campaign in Mississippi.
“Beginning today, Federal Reserve Banks are releasing millions of Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coins into circulation to be used by Americans everywhere in the nation,” United States Mint Acting Deputy Director Al Runnels said in his remarks. “Americans know Grant best as the victorious general in the Civil War, and these new coins can’t help but remind us of that defining period in our history, but they will also connect America to Grant’s two terms as our 18th President.”
John Marszalek, executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, joined Runnels at the coin launch, which was held at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis. The site is where Grant and his wife Julia occasionally resided during the 1850s. Members of the public who attended the event were among the first in the Nation to get the new $1 coin. Following the ceremony, each attendee 18 years old and younger received a Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coin to commemorate the event, while adults exchanged their currency for 25–coin rolls of the new coin.
The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coin is the 18th release in the United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Program, authorized by Public Law 109–145, the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. The coin’s obverse (heads side) features a portrait of former President Grant by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart and the inscriptions ULYSSES S. GRANT, IN GOD WE TRUST, 18th PRESIDENT and 1869–1877. The coin’s reverse (tails side), also by Everhart, features a dramatic rendition of the Statue of Liberty. Inscriptions on the reverse are $1 and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, with E PLURIBUS UNUM, 2011 and the mint mark (P or D) incused on the edge.
Ulysses S. Grant was born in Ohio in 1822. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and fought in the Mexican War under General Zachary Taylor. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant was appointed to command an unruly volunteer regiment. After he won battles at Vicksburg, Miss., and Chattanooga, Tenn., Lincoln appointed him general–in–chief in March 1864. Grant, a symbol of Union victory during the Civil War, was the Republican Party’s logical candidate for President in 1868. During his administration, Yellowstone was established as the first national park, and Congress passed a bill calling for equal pay for women and men holding similar jobs in federal government agencies. After retiring from the presidency, Grant learned that he had cancer of the throat. At the suggestion of author Mark Twain, he wrote his memoirs. Soon after completing the last page, he died on July 23, 1885.
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.