The Flying Eagle cent is a one-cent piece that was struck by the Mint of
the United States as a pattern coin in 1856, and released for
circulation on May 25, 1857. The coin was designed by Mint Chief
Engraver James B. Longacre, with the eagle in flight based on the work
of Longacre's predecessor, Christian Gobrecht. By the early 1850s, the
large cent in circulation (about the size of a half dollar) was becoming
both unpopular in commerce and expensive to coin. After experimenting
with various sizes and compositions, the Mint decided on an alloy of 88%
copper and 12% nickel for a new, smaller cent. After the Mint produced
patterns with an 1856 date and gave them to legislators and officials,
Congress formally authorized the new piece in February 1857. It was
issued in exchange for the worn Spanish colonial silver coin that had
circulated in the U.S. until then, as well as for its larger
predecessor. So many cents were issued that they choked commercial
channels, especially as they were not legal tender and no one had to
take them. The eagle design did not strike well, and was replaced in
1859 by Longacre's Indian Head cent.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Eagle_cent>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Primera Junta, the first independent government in
Argentina, was established in an open cabildo in Buenos Aires, marking
the end of the May Revolution.
Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore (poster
featured) opened at the Opera Comique in London.
During a speech to a joint session of the United States
Congress, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced his support for the
Apollo space program, with "the goal, before this decade is out, of
landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth".
Star Wars, a science fantasy film written and directed by
George Lucas, was released, eventually becoming one of the most
successful films of all time.
North Korea conducted a nuclear test and several other missile
tests that were widely condemned by the international community and led
to sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (geology) An eruption of water through a bed of sand due, for instance,
to seismic activity, or to differences in water pressure on two sides of
a levee which causes water to penetrate beneath the levee.
2. (pathology, rare) A boil which forms when sand particles enter and
irritate the skin.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
This must be Thursday... I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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