The Demise Of The Anthony Dollar
Perhaps the limited usage of the Eisenhower dollar spurred someone to push for an a new dollar coin. Some people in power at the Federal level just love think tank studies and coins may have seemed like a good choice for some think tank study. A think tank known as the Research Triangle Institute was hired to prepare a report to examine the adoption of a new dollar coin.
Their report suggested that the government could save a lot of money if they could convince the public to use dollar coins instead of paper currency of the one dollar denomination. And the report contained some other recommendations. One of which was the suggestion to also eliminate the one cent coin. Of course the officials in Washington D.C. have a habit of ignoring information that they don’t want to hear.
What most congressmen did not like about this report was the idea of abolishing the penny. No Congressman of the 1970’s would have dared to bring on the wrath of the voters by backing the idea of getting rid of the penny no matter how good the argument may have been presented. Most of the public is going to feel they are going to be taken advantage of by merchants when prices get rounded to the nearest nickel.
Another feature of the penny that makes its removal even harder is the fact that Abraham Lincoln’s portrait graces the front of the penny. It isn’t too hard to see the jokes and jabs coming from comedians and journalists about how the politicians are attacking Lincoln’s character. What Congressman is going to want to defend him or herself against these types of attack?
Another recommendation of this report was to abolish the half-dollar too. Again this could have been construed as an attack on John F. Kennedy as his portrait replaced Ben Franklyn’s. Of course if Franklyn’s portrait had remained on the half-dollar the argument would have been much the same.
These ideas were just too radical for the Congress of the 70’s. Another suggestion of the report was to create a new smaller size dollar coin. One thing the think tank ignored is the historical fact that the American Public has resisted the use of dollar coins almost as long as our country has been in existence. The old Morgan silver dollars were no more popular in their day as any dollar coin has been to the present time.
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