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Al Raddi's Blog

13 Mar 2021

Three Ladies Who Liked Ike

National Coin Week | Al Raddi

It was 1969, and Mary Brooks, who had been sworn in as Mint Director in September, wanted to reissue the silver dollar. Thirty-four years had passed since a silver dollar had been released (the 1935 Peace dollar). And, even though Brooks, who had a degree in economics, knew a silver dollar was impractical because bullion prices were rising, it represented fidelity to tradition. And, that was important to Brooks, who ran her family's sheep ranch in Idaho before she entered politics and would later restore the San Francisco Mint.

Former President Dwight Eisenhower had died earlier in the year. The World War II hero and two term president who had presided over a peaceful and prosperous interlude in American history was immensely well liked. So, New Jersey representativeFlorence Dwyer, called for a dollar coin bearing his likeness. Dwyer, a progressive Republican Congresswoman had first been elected to Congress in 1956 by courting Eisenhower Republicans. Her campaign literature read" Ike Likes Flo" and "A Vote for Flo is a Vote for Ike".

The idea of an Eisenhower dollar gained momentum when Democrat Missouri RepresentativeLeonor Sullivan offered bipartisan support for a dollar that would bear a portrait of Republican president Dwight Eisenhower as "equal time" to the half dollar, which bore the likeness of Democrat presidentJohn F. Kennedy.

Even though the only need for a large dollar coin was by the gaming industry for its slot machines, the opportunity to honor Eisenhower and the Apollo moon landing (on the reverse) on a large coin became appealing to many legislators. Mary Brooks steered compromise legislation through Congress authorizing an Eisenhower dollar that was not composed of silver but made in the same copper-nickel (Cu-Ni) clad composition in use for the dime and quarter dollar. It was signed into law in late 1970 by Eisenhower's former Vice President Richard Nixon, and the first Eisenhower dollar was issued in 1971.

Comments

coinfodder

Level 5

This is a joke, but the three ladies who like me...who do I choose! :-) In all seriousness, I love this coin. I like bulky dollars in general. Is coinage the only time when politicians can agree with each other?

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 5

My grandpa has several hundred Ike Dollars - he gives me one each birthday.

Al Raddi

Level 4

A very thoughtful gift (especially if they are the 40% silver variety).

Long Beard

Level 5

Still have the "I like Ike" campaign button of my mother's. Great read on a fine coin series to collect.

Al Raddi

Level 4

A great slogan that was created by Peter G. Peterson who would become Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration.

Stumpy

Level 5

Nice informative blog, I had forgotten most of the information you covered here, so I am thankful.

TheNumisMaster

Level 5

I have never heard of these women as well! Thanks for sharing. Its the little stories like these that make numismatics the Hobby of Kings, AND the King of Hobbies! Good blog, great read. Thanks!

Golfer

Level 5

Nice medal to honor Mary Brooks. Always liked the Eisenhower dollar. Thanks for a good blog. Very interesting.

Kepi

Level 6

Great blog! I didn't know about these ladies. Thanks for your research! I like Ike! ; )

Al Raddi

Level 4

I didn't either before I wrote this piece. And, I was especially impressed by Mary Brooks, who was a big favorite of the ANA.

Longstrider

Level 6

Great blog to a great man. I think we did get a .400 silver issue. I live close, 1 1/2 hours, to Eisenhower Hospital. He is very well loved down here in the desert of CA. I am a big fan of this dollar. I have been known to buy a few from my coin guy and use them as tips. One server I did that to even brought them back to him to sell. The perfect circle of life! I didn't know about the three ladies. Thanks.

Al Raddi

Level 4

The Ike dollars created for collectors sold well, but the business strikes didn't circulate well outside the Las Vegas area, I too like to use them as tips - especially to young people.

CoinHunter

Level 5

Nice blog! I learned some stuff.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Last of the great dollar coins! Imagine..... Bipartisanship. An archaicword seldom used anymore that describes a process of coming together to accomplish a legislative goal

Al Raddi

Level 4

I too was surprised by the bipartisanship.We sure don't see many examples of it today.

coinsbygary

Level 5

I've always loved the Eisenhower Dollar. As a kid growing up in the 70s, I just loved collecting these coins that combined, as you say, a popular president with the historic moon landing of Apollo 11. I grew up a space nut and learned that it was Ike who established NASA and started us down the road to a 1969 moon landing.

Al Raddi

Level 4

The more I read about Ike, the more I appreciate him. He seemed at times like a bland bumbler - but behind that facade was a very savvy guy.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Great Blog!!!!! The Ike Dollar is finally getting it's due. There is a reason why Ike is on three different U.S. Coins.

Al Raddi

Level 4

Took me a while to come up with the other two: the Eisenhower Centennial dollar and the Eisenhower Presidential dollar.

Mike

Level 7

It's one of my favorite dollars. Very underrated as far as I'm concerned. But you have big, silver and the reverses. You have clad what more do you want! Like you say a war hero. And it's the big coin in the bicentennial set. Thanks for a good blog . More collectors should be involved in this set.

Al Raddi

Level 4

I'm going to put my Ike dollar set in a National Coin Week display at my local public library and think folks who have forgotten the coin are going to be surprised to see it.

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