Numismatic Coin Club World Internet Numismatic Society

ImageGeorge Washington
by Ray Larson, WINS#20

"first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen" quoted Henry Lee at Washington's funeral.

The first President of the United States has been honored in many ways for his contributions to his country. He was born on February 22ed 1732 and he died on December 14th of 1799 at the age of 67 years of age. On the 200th anniversary of his birth in 1932 the Washington Quarter Dollar was inaugurated. Seventy-five years later with a variety of small changes his likeness still resides on America's most used coin. For the last seven years the coin assumed the mantle for the state quarter program, an interesting concept putting a commemorative on a coin that had originally been conceived as a commemorative, and then not even for the first time as it served like duty in 1975 and 1976 as a display case to help us celebrate the bi-centennial.

In 1982 on the 250th anniversary of Washington's birth a commemorative half dollar was introduced in 90% silver in both uncirculated and proof versions. The coins were so popular that mintages were very high so the coins shall always be on the more common side, but this just shows how popular our first President remains two and a half centuries after his birth.


When the state quarter program ends In 2008 I fully expect his likeness to still be on the twenty-five cent piece, but it would surprise me if it remained the comfortable old design that most of us have seen our entire lifetime. If I were in charge of the decision the design would revert to the design originally chosen in 1932. That design done by Laura Gardin Fraser.


Some interesting facts about George Washington.

He was six foot two inches tall. When he assumed the Presidency in his first term the population of the United States was 3,929,214. When he left office there were 16 stars in the United States flag. His Party Affiliation was Federalist. He married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis. He is idolized to the point that the name of his home, Mount Vernon is almost universally known.

Some interesting facts about Laura Gardin Fraser.

She was born near Chicago in 1889 and past away in 1966. She is famous for designing several of our commemorative coins besides having the winning and chosen design for the Washington quarter dollar. Only a male chauvinist Secretary of the Treasury kept it from being on our quarter dollar. She married her art instructor James Earl Fraser in 1913. They bought a home in Westport, Connecticut and lived their entire lives in Westport. The only project that husband and wife collaborated on was the Oregon Trail Memorial Half Dollar. James Fraser is the designer of the Buffalo Nickel.

**The Complete Guide to Washington Quarters by John Feigenbaum**
**Standard Catalogue of United States Coins by Wayte Raymond**
**The Guidebook of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman (the Red Book)

Copyright 2007 Ray Larson

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