John F. Kennedy commemorative coin bills introduced

Updated July 27 at 3 p.m. to correct typographical errors.

On July 17, companion bills were introduced in the House and Senate authorizing production of commemorative coins to honor the birth centennial of President John F. Kennedy. Since last year (and even earlier), collectors have been watching for a blip on the legislative radar that would signal plans for a Kennedy commemorative; as each month passed with nothing to authorize such a program, they became increasingly vocal in their disapproval. Once Kennedy’s 100th birthday (May 29) was in the rearview mirror, most of the complaints gave way to an unhappy sense of resignation.

The oversight has been all the more glaring in light of this year’s two commemoratives, which celebrated the centennials of the Lions Clubs International and Boys Town. Both of these are worthy and venerable charities, and they certainly deserve the funds generated by their respective commemorative programs. But in terms of significance in the American experience, they pale in comparison to the life of the late President Kennedy. Loved by many, hated by some, and flawed as all presidents inevitably are, Kennedy embodies a critical era in American history. His presidency helped mark a dividing line not just between generations but between eras. On the pre-Kennedy, pre-1960s, pre–Civil Rights side of the line, our nation was seen as one that made war only for unquestionably just causes. Deference to authority was the norm, and a postwar economic boom was fueled by an all-new “consumer” economy. America’s position as a world leader was unquestioned, and the national self-image was as clean and shiny as the five stars on Eisenhower’s shoulder.

Kennedy’s presidency helped usher in a time of self-questioning. Beneath the smiling, prosperous, and heroic surface of America were dark currents that had been denied for decades. Owning up to a history of systemic and often violent oppression of black American citizens was only the beginning. Americans had begun to question what they were told, and advances in communications helped bring to light much that had never been spoken of: the hidden motivations of modern wars, the repercussions of the consumer economy, the toxic cynicism of Wall Street, the things that really go on behind closed doors in Washington. Our ability—and our willingness—to grapple with these issues owes much to the Civil Rights Era and its martyred president.

Perhaps because of all that Congress has had to contend with, both internally and externally, it’s been slow on the uptake with respect to Kennedy’s birth centennial. Better late than never, however. The President John F. Kennedy Commemorative Coin Act was introduced in the House as H.R. 3274 by Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The bill, which has 57 cosponsors, has been referred to the Committee on Financial Services, whence it will make its slow journey toward—one would hope—becoming law. A companion Senate bill, S. 1568, was introduced on the same day by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). It currently has one cosponsor, the ailing Senator John McCain. The text of the Senate bill is not available online at the moment. The text of the House bill calls for Uncirculated and Proof silver dollars and does not currently restrict the design to any particular motif. The coins would be available for sale January 1, 2020; surcharges would go to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation to support the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.   ❑

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  1. KEITHSTER says

    Heck ya we can always use some more Kennedy coins !Go for it! Good Luck TO J.F.K. !!!!'”>”>?

  2. Tinto says

    ” ..and does not currently restrict the design to any particular motif. ..”

    Hmmmm will the Mint look for anything beyond the current design?

  3. Ernesto says

    We don’t need another Kennedy coin. Especially when the centennial has already been missed. Just do the same thing they did with the Lincoln cent & Jefferson nickel. Have slight different designs on the half dollar next year!!

  4. cagcrisp says

    Border Tax is now OFF the table. Even though details were never finalized as to what would be included and what would not, it did have Potential for foreign coins coming into the US and it did have some Potential for reciprocation from countries we Potential would implement a Border Tax.

    This could shake up the stock market by sorting out winners and losers…

  5. Donnie says

    No Kennedy birth centennial coin is needed, as JFK has been well commemorated by over a half century series of half dollars, including a gold version.

  6. NCM Collector says

    I am ok with the proposal since it is a one coin program (proof and uncirculated). These lame three coin programs are driving me 🍌🍌.

  7. Government Drone says

    I’ve been thinking that if they pair up the JFK 50¢ obverse with the Ike $ reverse (eagle landing on moon, with denomination changed to suit), they’d get both the prez’s centennial & the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, & an excuse to be a little late and/or run this out a few years.

    The Mint doesn’t even need Congress to do it.

  8. Brother Harold says

    Kennedy has been commemorated now for 53 years in a row. In 2014 there were gold, silver and copper nickel versions of the half dollar. Honestly how many more coins do we need to honor the guy? He was an OK President but not one of the greats. We have had enough commems at this point. Too many are of dubious value as well. These coins should be special but they are not.

  9. Dustyroads says

    From the coin act:

    (c) Prepaid orders.—

    (1) IN GENERAL.—”The Secretary shall accept prepaid orders for the coins minted under this Act before the issuance of such coins”

    Has this always been the case?.

  10. Jerry Diekmann says

    I would support and buy JFK commem coins if they were issued, this year or even next year, if Congress is running out of time this year on passing the needed legislation. I think JFK’s centenary of birth coin warrants an exception of the “only two commem coins per year” that Congress has had in effect now for 20 years or so. It reminds me of the time way back in 1993 when I suggested to Coin World that a commem coin be issued in honor of the 250th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth in 1743. Coin World published my letter and maybe it had some impact on Congress finally passing the coomem coin legislation in the following year (1994), but the coin was nevertheless dated 1993.

    Yes, I have been a coin collector for a long time.

  11. cagcrisp says

    AM Gold Fix $1,259.60

    I am Surprised Gold did not get a bid after the early morning health care vote…

  12. cagcrisp says

    Since Senator John McCain was as of yet the only Senator co-sponsor of the bill, I would Not hold my breath for a John F. Kennedy Silver Dollar.

    I don’t see Any way in the world you are going to get very many Republicans to now vote (or a Republican president to sign the legislation) for a JFK coin…

  13. q2 says

    cagcrisp says “I am Surprised Gold did not get a bid after the early morning health care vote…”

    Some has moved some.

    Contemplating the presidents thinking, without repeal of healthcare I’m not sure if he will move as quickly, or at all on tax reform. I know it’s something that he wants to do, but unlike other presidents he doesn’t play by the book.

  14. Dustyroads says

    Oops, I just accidentally posted a comment under the name of “q2”, and it’s in moderation.

    Here’s the comment–

    cagcrisp says “I am Surprised Gold did not get a bid after the early morning health care vote…”

    Some has moved some.

    Contemplating the presidents thinking, without repeal of healthcare I’m not sure if he will move as quickly, or at all on tax reform. I know it’s something that he wants to do, but unlike other presidents he doesn’t play by the book.

  15. cagcrisp says

    @Dustyroads, “I’m not sure if he will move as quickly, or at all on tax reform.”

    Tax reform, tax cuts and repatriation is the Only thing that is keeping the stock market Afloat at THESE levels.

    Tax reform has already started in earnest with yesterday’s announcement that the Border Tax is now off the table.

    Your better get a budget passed or there will NOT be any tax reform…

  16. KCSO says

    “I am Surprised Gold did not get a bid after the early morning health care vote…”

    – PM’s are going to react when this nut job lands one in Tokyo Bay;

    North Korea fired a missile that may have landed in Japan: Japanese PM

    This imbecile has the potential to kill more people than Hitler accomplished in 1/10th the time, one of those old general geezers that he surrounds himself with needs to take one for the team and do the deed –

    Be concerned –

  17. Jerry Diekmann says

    cagcrisp – regarding a JFK birth centennial coin, If not now, then sometime in 2019 after the Democrats regain control of both houses. I don’t think Pence would veto such a bill (Trump will have been impeached and removed from office by then, thank God), but if he did, then Congress can either override the veto (do Republicans hate JFK just because he was a Democrat?) or wait until 2021 when we have a new Democratic President. The Mint doesn’t really care about the accuracy of dates (Jefferson 250th birthday was minted in 1994 instead of 1993, Yellowstone was minted in 1999, 2 years after the actual 125th anniversary, the Marine Corps celebrated a 230th(???) anniversary in 2005, Teddy Roosevelt was passed over for a sesquicentennial of birth coin in 2008, even though there was only one coin program that year (bald eagle), and they missed the Mark Twain death centennial by 6 years in 2016. They’ll probably miss Teddy’s death centennial in 2019. The point is, the dates on commemorative coins don’t mean anything to the Mint, but they don’t – they should, but if you don’t know, and care less, you get the kind of commems we have been getting for a while now.

  18. John Q. Coinage says

    Your government @ work….JFK…nahh let’s do a commem for the Foresters or maybe Quincy Ill. CHAMBER 0’Congress…..Dear Mint, Elvis has left the building you f$#&ed up this year…MOVE ON

  19. Obie49 says

    Do we really need a JFK Commemeratve coin let alone the fact that it will be late by three years? Failing to plan, is planning to fail. The US Mint should take a look at how successful the Royal Canada Mint is doing. A lot of there items are low mintage and most of them are sell outs with a very large variety of items to choose from.

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