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What do you know about Jefferson?
July 31, 2007

he Thomas Jefferson dollar will make its debut Aug. 15 at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This will put the third President of the United States under the microscope as Numismatic News readers look for elements and events in his life to comment on.

I have already prepared myself by reading another biography of the man. It should be interesting. Readers have shown a great fondness for history and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of America's Presidents. Admittedly, we have only gone through the first two as far as the coins are concerned, and nearly all the commentary was directed to John Adams after I offered my opinion of him in a "Class of '63" column.

This tendency to comment will likely be fueled by the manner in which the Mint introduces the coin. Jefferson re-enactors will quiz the public at the Memorial about Jefferson and will reward correct answers with free Jefferson dollars. I like the idea. I hope it is well received.

One question I am sure they will not ask is what cabinet secretary was the first one to oversee the U.S. Mint. Numismatic News readers know it was Jefferson in his role as secretary of State.

I hope a few readers can make their way to the Memorial on that date and test their historical knowledge. It should be great fun. If you happen to be one of them, let me know how you do. Let me know what the question was. Comment on a future blog, or send me an e-mail at Good luck.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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