The five Panama–Pacific commemorative coins ($50 piece pictured) were
produced in connection with the 1915 Panama–Pacific International
Exposition in San Francisco. Struck at that city's mint, the issue
included round and octagonal $50 pieces. Excepting modern bullion coins,
these two gold pieces are the highest denomination ever issued and the
largest coins ever struck by the United States Mint. The octagonal $50
piece is the only non-round U.S. coin ever issued. In January 1915,
Congress passed legislation for a silver half dollar, as well as a gold
dollar, a quarter eagle ($2.50 piece), and the two $50 pieces. The Mint
had already consulted artists, but Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo
initially rejected all their designs. Two of them persevered, Robert I.
Aitken for the $50 pieces and Charles Keck for the gold dollar, and
their submissions were used. The half dollar and quarter eagle were
designed by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, possibly with the
participation of his longtime assistant, George T. Morgan. The coins did
not sell well, and many of each denomination were returned for melting.
Only a few hundred of each of the $50 pieces were distributed, making
them the lowest-mintage commemorative coins. They catalog for up to
$200,000, depending on condition.
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Eclipse of Bur-Sagale was observed in Assyria, the
earliest solar eclipse mentioned in historical sources that has been
The Duchess of Richmond held a ball in Brussels, Belgium, that
was described as "the most famous ball in history".
The shooting of a pig in the San Juan Islands led to the so-
called Pig War over the border between the United States and British
King Hussein of Jordan married American Lisa Halaby, who became
known as Queen Noor of Jordan (pictured).
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines deposited
large amounts of particulate into the atmosphere, enough to lower global
temperatures by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F).
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. To cover something as if in a capsule.
2. To epitomize something by expressing it as a brief summary.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
It is our will, and we firmly enjoin, that the English Church be
free, and that the men in our kingdom have and hold all the aforesaid
liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably, freely and
quietly, fully and wholly, for themselves and their heirs, of us and our
heirs, in all respects and in all places for ever, as is aforesaid. An
oath, moreover, has been taken, as well on our part as on the part of
the barons, that all these conditions aforesaid shall be kept in good
faith and without evil intent. Given under our hand — the abovenamed
and many others being witnesses — in the meadow which is called
Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, in
the seventeenth year of our reign.
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