In recognition of African-American History Month, the United States Mint has created a new section of their online product catalog to showcase medals commemorating the achievements of African-Americans and their contributions to the nation’s history. In all cases, the medals represent bronze duplicate versions of Congressional Gold Medals which were authorized under Acts of Congress.
Some of the medals included in this section were originally issued during the course of the past few years and have been previously covered on Mint News Blog. For example, the medal honoring Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King was issued in June 2014. Although originally authorized by Congress in 2004, additional authorization was required to allow the medal to be given to the Smithsonian Institution after the passing of Coretta Scott King. Additional legislation was enacted on June 9, 2014, allowing the medal to be awarded on June 24.
Two other medals which have previously been covered include the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Victims Medal awarded on September 10, 2013 and the Montford Point Marines Medal awarded on June 28, 2012.
The remaining medals included in the section were originally issued before Mint News Blog started covering medals. In many cases the medals have not been available for purchase from the US Mint for a number of years.
The additional bronze medals made available for African-American History Month include the following:
- Senator Edward William Brooke III – Act of Congress 2008
- Tuskegee Airmen – Act of Congress 2006
- Jackie Robinson – Act of Congress 2003
- Brown vs. Board of Education – Act of Congress 2003
- Dorothy Height – Act of Congress 2003
- Rosa Parks – Act of Congress 1999
- Little Rock Nine – Act of Congress 1998
- Jesse Owens – Act of Congress 1988
It is interesting to note the connection that some of these medals have to United States Mint commemorative coin programs. In 2007, the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Commemorative Silver Dollar was packed together with the Little Rock Nine Bronze Medal in a special set. Prior to the issuance of the Congressional Gold Medal, Jackie Robinson was honored in a commemorative coin program in 1997. Lastly, the Jesse Owens Bronze Medal was packaged with the 1995 Track and Field Olympic Silver Dollar within a special set.
All of the African-American History Month Medals can be viewed or purchased at this section of the US Mint’s website.