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Fun Facts
Booker T. Washington Memorial Half-Dollar
31.  What coin and monument both honor another "Washington"?  The first coin to feature an African-American was the Booker T. Washington Memorial Half Dollar. It was minted from 1946 to 1951. A National Monument was designated to Washington in Hardy, Virginia, on April 5, 1956.
32.  This museum was made from gold.  The donation of $508,316 in gold, from the estate of English scientist James Smithson, was examined in the Philadelphia Mint before being used to create the Smithsonian Institution. Today, the Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world, and includes many world-renowned museums in the nation's capital, Washington, DC—all free of charge to visit!
1893 Commemorative coin featuring Queen Isabella of Spain
33.  Why is Queen Isabella famous to Numismatists?  In 1893, Queen Isabella of Spain became the first woman to be featured on a U.S. Commemorative coin. She was also the first REAL woman to be featured on ANY coin produced by the Mint—regular issue or commemorative.
34.  Which Revolutionary War hero also helped make coins?  Besides being quite the skilled horseman and informant, Paul Revere was a silversmith and a contributor to our nation's coinage. Revere's metals company once supplied the Mint with rolled copper for the production of early cents.
Sacagawea golden dollar
35.  $10 billion goes a long way.  If you were lucky enough to have 10 billion Sacagawea golden dollars and you spent one every second of every day, guess how long they would last? In exactly 317 years, you would go broke!
36.  We almost 'bet dollars to doughnuts!'  The Mint once considered producing doughnut-shaped coins. Obviously, this idea was viewed as being half-baked.
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
37.  A President had coins as a pet.  President Teddy Roosevelt said that the redesign of American coins was his "pet baby." He even personally commissioned the world-renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create new designs.
38.  He couldn't make light of his crime.  In 1864, James Clarke, an employee of the Denver Mint, stole cash, certificates, and a 10-pound brick of gold. He tried to escape on horseback, but the horse ran away. After getting only a few miles out of Denver, Clarke found his loot too heavy to carry and threw the 10-pound gold brick away. Clarke was caught and ordered to leave the territory.
San Francisco Mint
39.  Transporting coins can turn into a real cliffhanger.  Legend has it that a shipment of dimes en route to the San Francisco Mint was attacked in southern Utah in the early 1900s. The shipment of dimes supposedly fell over a cliff. Though many people have tried to find the money, no evidence of this shipment has ever been found.
40.  They felt "safe as Fort Knox."  Citizens of Denver took refuge in the old Denver Mint building in 1864 when they heard rumors of possible Indian attacks.

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