Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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January 31st
The Roosevelt Dime
Since January 1946, U.S. dimes have carried an image of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The U.S. Mint issued the coin less than a year after Roosevelt’s death. Before 1946, U.S. dimes carried images of female figures representing Liberty.

The Roosevelt Dime was issued in part to honor FDR’s efforts in establishing the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as the March of Dimes), which was founded to help defeat polio. Roosevelt and others urged Americans to send dimes to the foundation to fight the dreaded disease.

The back of the Roosevelt Dime shows three emblems: an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch. The olive branch (left of the torch) stands for peace. The torch, which is an image of the one held by the Statue of Liberty, stands for freedom. The oak branch stands for safety, security, and strength.

Soon after the coin’s release, controversy erupted when people noticed the tiny letters “JS” beneath Roosevelt’s neck. Rumors spread that a Communist agent at the Mint had placed the letters  there to honor the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. In truth, the initials belong to John Sinnock, the coin’s designer.

American History Parade
President Truman announces he has ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

The United States enters the Space Age with the launch of its first satellite, Explorer I.

Ham the Chimp becomes the first chimpanzee in outer space when he blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a Project Mercury rocket.

McDonald’s opens its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow, symbolizing a triumph of capitalism over Communism following the end of the Cold War.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

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