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Mark Twain Gets Own Coins

Surcharge Will Benefit Sites Dedicated To Longtime Hartford Resident

By Rick Green

December 07, 2012

It's official: The Mark Twain silver dollar is coming.

A commemorative $5 gold coin also will be minted for sale in 2016, now that President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation creating the coins.

Obama on Tuesday signed a law that calls for the U.S. Mint to produce for a limited time $1 and $5 coins honoring Twain, who grew up in Hannibal, Mo., and lived in Hartford for many years.

A $35 surcharge on the gold coin and $10 for the silver coin will benefit four Twain sites: The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford; the Mark Twain Project at the University of California at Berkeley; the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y.; and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal.

The mint will produce 100,000

$5 coins and 350,000 $1 coins. The coins are legal tender but will likely become popular with collectors. Sales could bring as much as $1 million to the Mark Twain House and Museum, officials said.

Members of Connecticut's congressional and delegation, including U.S. Rep. John Larson, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, helped to lead the effort to create the Twain coin.

"Mark Twain was one of the world's greatest writers and holds a unique place in the telling of America's story," Larson said.

"We in Connecticut are proud to have been able to call Twain one of our own and institutions such as the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford do a terrific job in highlighting his life and work. These coins will reintroduce Twain to a new generation and help ensure that his work is never forgotten."

Lieberman said he grew up reading about Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

"Mark Twain contributed to the spirit of our great nation, and just like the Mark Twain House and the historic Nook Farm neighborhood, these commemorative coins will keep the spirit alive for generations to come," Lieberman said.

"Mark Twain is an American legend and deserves to have his legacy preserved and protected for years to come. I was proud to honor his great work by introducing the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act with my Connecticut colleagues. I wish to thank Congressman Larson in particular for his leadership on this historic piece of legislation, and President Obama for signing the bill into law today in support of the history of our great state."

The House passed the bill in April and the Senate passed it in November.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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