What Is the History of the Eisenhower Dollar Coin?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Mint issued the original Eisenhower dollar coin between 1971 and 1978, in response to new legislation in 1969 that called for a new dollar coin commemorating President Eisenhower's death and the success of Apollo 11. In 1976, the Mint changed the reverse side of the coin to celebrate the United States' bicentennial while still featuring a tribute to the Apollo 11 moon landing.

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Full Answer

The original Eisenhower dollar featured a profile of Dwight Eisenhower and the date on one side, while the reverse had a modified version of the Apollo 11 mission crest, with an image of a bald eagle holding an olive branch, the lunar surface and the Earth in the background. The Mint produced these coins in both circulating versions in copper-nickel clad composition, as well as a limited number of non-circulating and proof versions in silver for collectors.

The bicentennial version of the Eisenhower dollar featured the Liberty Bell on the reverse side, with an image of the moon in the background to pay tribute to the original design. The obverse side also had its dates changed to read "1776-1976" to reflect the bicentennial. Much like the earlier coins, both circulating and non-circulating versions were available, with the same silver content as the earlier version.

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