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First Lincoln Penny Issued

Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!

The Lincoln Penny was designed by sculptor Victor David Brenner at the request of President Theodore Roosevelt to replace the Indian Head Penny. When Roosevelt left office in March of 1909, Brenner continued the project since the idea was to release the new design in 1909, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. After several design changes, samples were sent to President William Howard Taft who approved the final coin. Secretary of Treasury Franklin MacVeagh approved the design fit for printing on July 14 and the new Lincoln Penny was released on August 2, 1909.

Several changes have been made to the back on the penny since its issue, but Brenner’s original design, known as the Wheat Cent, remained in production for 50 years until it was replaced with the Lincoln Memorial design in 1959. The Lincoln Memorial design was replaced by several designed minted in 2009 only for the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, then in 2010, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended the current Union Shield cent design.


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