Tuesday, December 26, 2006


(David Shribman has a very interesting point of view on the Presidential dollars that goes beyond the usual discussion about whether the coins will circulate or not. It's too bad Congress didn't get a chance to read his opinion before authorizing the coins.)

There is no more revered spot in the United States, from its founding as a mercantile nation, than on the country's coins. Here reside George Washington, who won the colonies their freedom, and Thomas Jefferson, who put the new nation's philosophy into poetry, and Abraham Lincoln, who saved America in its greatest hour of peril, and Franklin Roosevelt, who preserved capitalism and then democracy. In grief we put John F. Kennedy's image on a half-dollar, and in respect we put Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea on the dollar coin.

But we did not put Daniel Webster, or Henry Clay, or John C. Calhoun, or Henry Cabot Lodge, or Mike Mansfield on our coins. They were great men, huge pinions of power, but ours is a lucky nation for having had so many great leaders in so few years of existence. This is a profligate country, but we are stingy, and rightly so, with our biggest honors.

Until now. . . .

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