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2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Pennies

 

In 2009, the U.S. Mint will issue a series of four different commemorative Pennies
honoring the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.  The coins also mark
the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Penny, which was first issued in 1909 as a
tribute to Lincoln on the 100th anniversary of his birth.  The 2009 Lincoln Pennies
will be the first commemorative Pennies in history;  they will be struck for
circulation and will replace the regular-issue Lincoln Pennies that were made
from 1909 to 2008.

 

Each of the four different commemorative Pennies will depict a unique
one-time-only design on the reverse to represent one of the four phases of
Lincoln’s life.  The obverse will remain the same image of Lincoln by sculptor
Victor D. Brenner that has been used since the first coin in 1909.  The reverse
designs are the first changes to the coin’s design since 1959 when the Lincoln
Memorial replaced the original “wheat ears” design.  Each 2009 coin will be
made for only about three months.  A new permanent reverse design will be
introduced in 2010 that will be emblematic of Lincoln's preservation of the
United States as a single and united country.

 

The first 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Penny will symbolize Lincoln’s birth and
early childhood in Kentucky (1809-1816).  Lincoln was born in a log cabin in
Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809, and his family lived in poverty
on a farm near Hodgenville until he was almost eight years old;  the coin shows
a log cabin to represent his humble beginnings.  The second coin will honor
Lincoln’s formative years in Indiana (1816-1830).  Lincoln’s family moved to the
Indiana frontier country in 1816, and it was here that he discovered the joys of
reading and the satisfaction of hard work;  the coin depicts Lincoln reading while
taking a break from working as a rail splitter in Indiana.

 

The third 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Penny will feature Lincoln’s professional
life in Illinois (1830-1861).  After moving to Illinois in 1830, Lincoln worked a
variety of odd jobs, became a lawyer, was elected to the U.S. House of
Representatives, and in 1860 was elected President of the United States;  the coin
features Lincoln in front of the Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.
The fourth and final coin will highlight Lincoln’s Presidency in Washington,
D.C. (1861-1865).  Lincoln’s Presidency was shaped by the Civil War, but
he was assassinated on April 15, 1865, just days after victory in the war
and shortly after his inauguration for a second term;  the coin shows the
 half-finished United States Capitol dome.