The Penny Gets a Makeover

Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 01:15 PM

In this week's show, Kurt says that we can find the Lincoln Memorial on the back of any old penny. Well, that old penny is getting a new backside. Last week, the United States Mint released a new one-cent coin, in honor of the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. While it still features his head on one side, the memorial will no longer be engraved on the tail.

In its place is a union shield -- with 13 vertical stripes, representing the states, joined by a bar inscribed with E Pluribus Unum, 'out of many, one.' That shield has a special association with Lincoln. An artist commissioned to create work for the U.S. Capitol building during Lincoln’s presidency used the shield in frescoes that still hang on its walls. And the union shield is prominent in some Civil War memorabilia.

Feeling nostalgic for the Lincoln Memorial? Listen to our show about the American icon.

- Jess Jiang

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