July 4th, 2016
240 years ago on July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and 53 other brave patriots signed the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Today, we celebrate the founding of our nation with parades, barbeques, family gatherings – and, of course, fireworks. There’s nothing like a booming fireworks display to stir the patriotic spirit and put the perfect finishing touch on another great year in American history!
Remember the Bicentennial in 1976?
Those of us of a “certain” age clearly remember the spectacular July 4th celebrations 40 years in 1776 when we marked the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. There were bicentennial parades in virtually every town and city, special events across the nation, and – most importantly for collectors – a stunning set of bicentennial coins from the U.S. Mint.
The bicentennial Quarter, Half Dollar, and Dollar were the first circulating commemoratives in U.S. history, and they remain one of the most popular of all U.S. coin sets of the 20th century.
The Birth of Liberty
July 4th is also a time when many people are reminded of the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It’s no wonder that “Liberty” has been the foundation of American politics and American society for the last 240 years. In fact, for most of our history, it was a legal requirement that most coins featured “an impression emblematic of liberty” on the reverse.
July 4th is perhaps the best time to remember the role that “Liberty” has played in our coinage history – from coins depicting the Statue of Liberty, to collections of coins showing different images of Liberty, and even commemorative coins that celebrate the very concept of Liberty and what it means to America today.
But most important of all … enjoy our 240th Independence Day!