[Daily article] December 31: Eisenhower dollar

The Eisenhower dollar is a one-dollar coin issued from 1971 to 1978 by
the United States Mint. Authorized by law on December 31, 1970, it was
the first US dollar coin minted since 1935, the last year of the Peace
dollar. Designed by Frank Gasparro, the coin’s obverse depicts President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, who died in March 1969. Proposals in Congress to
honor him on a coin led to a dispute over whether the new coin was to
contain silver. In 1970, a compromise was reached to strike it in base
metal for circulation, and in 40% silver as a collectible. Although the
collector’s pieces sold well, the new dollars failed to circulate,
except in and around Nevada casinos, where they took the place of
privately issued tokens. Coins from 1975 and 1976 bear a double date,
1776–1976, and a special reverse by Dennis R. Williams in honor of the
Bicentennial. To replace the Eisenhower dollar with a smaller-sized
piece, Congress authorized the Susan B. Anthony dollar, struck beginning
in 1979, but that coin also failed to circulate.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

405 or 406:

The Vandals, Alans and Suebians crossed the Rhine River
to begin an invasion of Gaul.

1857:

Queen Victoria selected Ottawa, then a small logging town, to
be the capital of the British colony of Canada.

1907:

Times Square in New York City held its first New Year’s Eve
celebrations with the ball drop (2008 version pictured).

1972:

Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente died in a plane
crash en route to deliver aid to victims of the Nicaragua earthquake.

1998:

The European Exchange Rate Mechanism froze the values of the
legacy currencies in the Eurozone and established the value of the euro
currency.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

fireworks:
1. […] (plural only) An event or a display where fireworks are set off.
2. (plural only, figuratively) A boisterous or violent event or situation.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Life is a slow-motion avalanche, and none of us are steering.
 
–Donald E. Westlake

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