[Daily article] October 12: Gold dollar

The gold dollar was a coin struck as a regular issue by the United
States Bureau of the Mint from 1849 to 1889. The coin had three types
over its lifetime, all designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B.
Longacre. The Type 1 issue had the smallest diameter of any United
States coin ever minted. A gold dollar had been proposed several times
in the 1830s and 1840s, but was not initially adopted. Congress was
finally galvanized into action by the increased supply of bullion from
the California gold rush, and in 1849 authorized a gold dollar. In its
early years, silver coins were being hoarded or exported, and the gold
dollar found a ready place in commerce. Silver again circulated after
Congress required in 1853 that new coins of that metal be made lighter,
and the gold dollar became a rarity in commerce even before federal
coins vanished from circulation amid the economic disruption of the
American Civil War. Gold did not circulate again in most of the nation
until 1879, and even then, the gold dollar did not regain its place in
commerce. In its final years, struck in small numbers, it was hoarded by
speculators and mounted in jewelry.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1847:

Werner von Siemens, a German inventor, founded Siemens &
Halske, which later became Siemens, the largest engineering company in
Europe.

1871:

The Criminal Tribes Act entered into force in British India,
giving law enforcement sweeping powers to arrest, control, and monitor
the movements of the members of 160 specific ethnic or social
communities that were defined as “habitually criminal”.

1917:

First World War: New Zealand troops suffered 2,735 casualties,
including 845 deaths, in the First Battle of Passchendaele, making it
the nation’s largest loss of life in one day.

1960:

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev reportedly pounded his shoe on
a desk during the Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly
in response to Filipino delegate Lorenzo Sumulong’s assertion of Soviet
colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe.

1992:

A 5.8 MB earthquake struck south of Cairo, Egypt, killing 545
people.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

mantilla:
1. A lace veil of Spanish origin worn over a woman’s hair and shoulders.
2. A woman’s light cloak or cape made of silk, velvet, lace, or other
material.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh
month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and
do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger
that sojourneth among you: for on that day shall the priest make an
atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your
sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye
shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. And the priest, whom
he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the
priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and
shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: and he shall
make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement
for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall
make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the
congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to
make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a
year.  
–Book of Leviticus

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