WASHINGTON - The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Plaza was the backdrop today for the unveiling, by United States Mint Director Ed Moy, of four new designs for the circulating 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coins. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Co-Chairman Harold Holzer joined Director Moy for the unveiling.
Authorized by Public Law 109-145, the four new designs celebrate the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth, as well as the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln cent (penny). The new designs will be issued in approximately three-month intervals throughout the year. The first redesigned penny, which will honor Lincoln's birth and early childhood, will be put into circulation on February 12, 2009.
"This is a momentous occasion in the history of our Nation's coinage because these designs represent the first change in the Lincoln cent in half a century," said Director Moy. "These coins are a tribute to one of our greatest Presidents whose legacy has had a lasting impact on our country. He believed all men were created equal, and his life was a model for accomplishing the American dream through honesty, integrity, loyalty, and a lifetime of education."
The four designs to be featured on the reverse of the Lincoln pennies represent four major aspects of President Lincoln's life: his birth and childhood in Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois and his Presidency in Washington, D.C. The inscriptions on the reverse of the coins will be "United States of America," "E Pluribus Unum" and "One Cent."
The obverse (heads side) of the one-cent coins will continue to bear Victor David Brenner's likeness of President Lincoln, introduced in 1909, and the motto "In God We Trust." At the end of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin Program, the reverse of the penny will feature a design emblematic of President Lincoln's preservation of the United States of America as a single and united country.
A Lincoln commemorative silver dollar, authorized by Public Law 109-285, also will be released in 2009.
United States Mint Unveils New 2009 Penny Designs