Virginians First to Get William H Harrison Coins
by U.S. Mint
Nation paused to observe Presidents Day, the
United States Mint launched the William Henry
Harrison Presidential $1 Coin in a ceremony
today at the Berkeley Plantation, the former
President's home. Participants at the event were
the first in the Nation to get the new $1 coin,
which goes into circulation on February 19.
"We honor William Henry Harrison today - our
Nation's ninth President," United States Mint
Deputy Director Andy Brunhart told the crowd.
The crowd watched as thousands of shiny, new
William Henry Harrison Presidential $1 Coins
spilled onto a velvet cloth, officially
launching the latest coin in the United States
Mint's Presidential $1 Coin Program. Following
the ceremony, each child 18 years old or younger
received a newly minted $1 coin, and adults
exchanged their currency for rolls of the coin.
The obverse (heads side) of the William Henry
Harrison Presidential $1 Coin features a
dramatic portrait of the former President by
United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joe Menna.
The inscription IN GOD WE TRUST-formerly
featured on the edge of Presidential $1 Coins-is
now featured on the obverse. It is the first
Presidential $1 Coin to feature the inscription
on the obverse.
The coin's reverse (tails side), by United
States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart,
features a striking image of the Statue of
Liberty. Incused on the coin's edge are the
inscriptions 2009, E PLURIBUS UNUM" and the
mintmark of origin (P or D for Philadelphia or
William Henry Harrison was born into a
politically prominent family. His father, a
three-term governor of Virginia, was one of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Following three years of college, Harrison's
father sent him to study medicine with a leading
physician. Unenthusiastic about medicine, he
instead pursued a military career after his
father's death. Harrison distinguished himself
in the Battle of Tippecanoe against American
Indians led by Shawnee chief Tecumseh-earning
the nickname "Old Tippecanoe"-and in the War of
1812. During his Army career, Harrison also
served as secretary of the Northwest Territory
and governor of the Indiana Territory. He also
served in the U.S. Senate, in the U.S. House of
Representatives, in the Ohio State Senate, and
as U.S. minister to Columbia.
In 1840, the Whig Party chose Harrison to run
against incumbent President Martin Van Buren.
"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" (future President
John Tyler was his vice presidential candidate)
was the first slogan used in a presidential
campaign. Harrison defeated Van Buren in a
landslide, and at 68 years old, became the
oldest president to serve in the office up to
Former President Harrison served the shortest
term in office of any president to date. He died
of pneumonia about one month after giving the
longest inaugural speech in history. He was the
first president to die in office.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 requires
the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue
Presidential $1 Coins to honor the United States
Presidents in the order in which they served.
Four new designs will be released annually. The
William Henry Harrison Presidential $1 Coin is
the ninth coin in the program.