By CoinWeek News Staff …..
On Wednesday, October 25, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) convened for a brief, one-hour public meeting to discuss and approve designs for the Bob Dole Congressional Gold Medal. Public Law 115-60, which authorized the Treasury and the United States Mint to strike the medal, was introduced to the House on July 20, 2017 and the Senate on July 24. It passed the Senate on August 3, was approved by the House on September 5, and signed by President Donald Trump on September 15.
The Congressional Gold Medal honors Robert Joseph “Bob” Dole, a former long-time Senator from Kansas, decorated veteran of World War II and former Republican candidate for president. Dole was severely wounded during a gun battle in Italy, which affected the mobility in his right arm for the rest of his life but also inspired him to greater achievements and made him into a staunch advocate of wounded veterans and the disabled. After serving in the Kansas State House (1951-53), Dole moved on to the United States House of Representatives, where he was known as a pragmatic moderate, willing to work “across the aisle” with his Democratic colleagues – notably supporting several Civil Rights measures during the mid-1960s. He became a U.S. Senator in 1969 and was re-elected until his retirement in 1996, serving as both minority and majority leader at different times. Dole ran as a vice-presidential candidate under President Gerald Ford in 1976, and as a presidential candidate during the 1980 Republican primaries that were ultimately won by Ronald W. Reagan.
He ran as the Republican candidate for president against the incumbent William Jefferson Clinton in 1996, but lost. He has been married to his wife Elizabeth, also a former senator and presidential candidate, since 1975.
At the CCAC’s meeting, in which most of the participating members called in via teleconference since the committee had just had a meeting on the 18th to discuss the Apollo 11 Moon Landing commemoratives and the remaining America the Beautiful Quarters designs, there was very little in the way of discussion as the U.S. Mint was under time constraints to produce and strike the medal. Sculptor and committee member Jeanne Stevens-Sollman did question the appropriateness of the font of the inscriptions on the medal but was told that to change the font could affect much more than just the typography. Interestingly, the Mint seemed to admit that the font was more or less a default choice.
Typographic choices aside, the design is a straightforward yet attractive one. A smiling Senator Dole takes up most of the obverse, with the Capitol Building in the background to his left. The inscription SON OF KANSAS * SOLDIER * STATESMAN encircles the top half. The reverse features a Kansas wheat field and a quote by Dole inscribed above it. ACT OF CONGRESS 2017 is inscribed along the bottom.
Born in 1923, Mr. Dole is currently 94 years old. An award ceremony for the senator has yet to be scheduled. Once the medal has been struck, 3″ and 1.5″ bronze copies will be available for sale on the Mint’s website.
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