A golden-hued dollar coin honoring our 13th president, Millard Fillmore, will be released to the public by the U.S. Mint this week. A ceremony at Moravia Central School officially released the coin, in Moravia, New York, Fillmore’s birthplace.
The dollar makes no mention of H. L. Mencken nor Mencken’s hoax that has eclipsed Fillmore’s reputation for 93 years. Can the dollar’s own shine do anything to improve the lustre of Fillmore’s reputation?
History teacher MCs ceremony
Fillmore was born only five miles east of Moravia. He served as the 13th President of the United States from 1850-1853 after assuming the office when President Zachary Taylor passed away. These were tremulous times for the country which was already on the verge of a civil war, postponed by the Compromise of 1850. Fillmore is credited with the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa effectively ending the isolationism of Japan.
US Mint Deputy Director Andrew Brunhart will present the new dollar at the ceremony. Master of Ceremonies will be local history teacher John Haight. Sheila Tucker, Cayuga County historian, is scheduled to speak.
Children 18 and under will receive a free Fillmore dollar while others may exchange dollar bills for the new coins. The Mint will also offer 25-coin rolls for $35.95 from either Philadelphia or Denver that may be ordered directly from its Web site (http://www.usmint.gov/.)
Don Everhart designed the portrait of Millard Fillmore that is featured on the obverse or heads side. It also includes the inscriptions “MILLARD FILLMORE,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “13TH PRESIDENT” and “1850-1853.”
Much of the ceremony is fitting. Fillmore himself helped organize local historical societies and promote education — he was the first president of the Erie County Historical Association, and he is celebrated as the founder of the University of Buffalo.
Golden coloring of the coin comes from the alloyed metals that comprise the coin. It is 77% copper, 12% zinc, 7% manganese, and 4% nickel. Coins will be struck at all three coin minting plants, in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco.
Coins can be ordered from the U.S. Mint.