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Coin Of the Month

Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin

Pilgrim Tercentenary Commemorative Half-Dollar

(Tercentenary: celebrates a 300th anniversary of an event)

Ruff, Ruff...  Im Nero the Mint Police Dog, and I've sniffed out a super coin for you this December.  It features some of the first folks to colonize our country.  They founded Plymouth Colony on December 21, 1620.  Can you name them?

They are the Pilgrims, a religious group from England.  They felt that the only way to properly practice their religion was to separate from the Church of England.  So, they bravely left Europe on the Mayflower and came to America.

I was watching over the Mint facilities—that's my usual job—when I spotted this special coin.  It's the Pilgrim Tercentenary commemorative half-dollar.  Congress authorized it in 1920 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrim's historic landing.

I was proud to learn about their courage.  The Pilgrims survived a difficult journey in order to reach America.  They endured crowded living conditions, seasickness, a meager diet, fierce storms, waves of icy water that chilled them to the bone and other discomforts.

Before setting foot on Plymouth, they signed the Mayflower Compact.  Now—you must have heard of that, right?  That's the document that provided the foundation for our democratic form of government.

Nero, the Mint Police Dog

OBVERSE: Pilgrim Tercentenary commemorative coin
Obverse:  The Pilgrim Tercentenary commemorative coin, released in 1920, shows a figure of Governor William Bradford (1590-1657). He is pictured from the waist up wearing a hat and carrying an open Bible.

REVERSE: Pilgrim Tercentenary commemorative coin
Reverse:  The Mayflower, the ship that transported the Pilgrims across the Atlantic. The journey took 65 days- twice as long as it should have.

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