By CoinWeek News Staff ….
On Tuesday, December 11, United States Representative Bruce Poliquin (R-ME2) introduced a bill (H.R. 7257) to the House of Representatives that would authorize the production in 2019 of new Presidential $1 coins honoring the late President George H. W. Bush. Corresponding First Spouse bullion coins featuring the late First Lady Barbara Bush would also be issued.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act (Public Law 109-145) was signed into law on December 22, 2005. It authorized the production of a series of clad, copper-manganese “golden” coins commemorating each president of the United States since the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. Released at a rate of four coins per year, the program ran from 2007 until 2016, starting with George Washington and ending with Ronald Reagan. Because the law stipulated that only deceased former presidents can appear on the dollar coins, 2016 was the effective end of the program.
Forty-first president George H. W. Bush died on November 30, 2018; his wife Barbara died on April 17. First Spouse gold coins are struck on .9999 fine planchets and issued in Proof and Uncirculated finishes. Bronze three inch and one-and-a-half inch First Spouse medals are also produced, as are combination presidential $1 coin and First Spouse medal product options.
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin
In other news, President Donald Trump signed the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 1235) into law on Tuesday, December 18. Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Basketball Hall of Fame, the bill was introduced to Congress by Richard Neal (D-MA1) on February 27, 2017. Mr. Neal had introduced a previous version of the act (H.R. 4592) during the 114th Congress on February 23, 2016. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the sponsor of the Senate version (S. 1503).
A maximum of 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars will be minted in 2020. The gold coins will have a fineness of .900, as will the silver dollar. Proof and Uncirculated versions will be issued.
This means that the U.S. Mint will release two curved commeomrative coin programs in two consecutive years, with the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moon Landing coming out in 2019.
Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act
The day before Trump signed the Naismith Hall of Fame bill, he signed the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 1861), introduced by Rep. James Renacci (R-OH16). The law authorizes the U.S. Mint to strike a Congressional Gold Medal honoring professional baseball player Lawrence “Larry” Doby, who played in both the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball, becoming the first African-American player in the American League when he signed to the Cleveland Indians on July 3, 1947.
Baseball great Jackie Robinson (who received a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal of his own in 2005) had become the first African-American player in all of Major League Baseball only three months earlier on April 15.
After his career in the major leagues, Doby became active in the fight for civil rights and returned to baseball as a manager for the Chicago White Sox in 1978–only the second African-American to have served in that position.
Doby’s medal will be presented to his son, Larry Doby, Jr., in a ceremony most likely to be held in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol sometime next year.
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The following widgets will update as the bills mentioned above make their way through the legislative process (courtesy of govtrack.us):