It is a bit hard to believe, but the U.S. Mint is issuing — right now — dollar coins featuring the likeness of the 17th president, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. When they rolled it out in Greeneville, Tennessee (his hometown), they passed the dollars out for free to kids! A measure of Johnson’s greatness? Arguably.
This prompts a few questions. Is this a series to honor those who have been impeached? A wrongheaded attempt to honor those who opposed Reconstruction? An effort to demonstrate that failed male politicians are honored more than successful female wones (remember the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin)?
No, nothing that well thought out. The Mint is issuing dollar coins, in sequence, honoring each president. It doesn’t matter if they were bad, good, or indifferent. In addition to Johnson’s dollar, this year will include dollar coins featuring Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, and James Garfield. Not the strongest year in the series.
But who wouldn’t want this baby jingling in his/her pocket?