William Henry Harrison Presidential $1 Coins entered circulation on February 19, 2009.
The first Presidential Dollar of 2009 and the ninth coin in the series released into circulation on Thursday, February 19, 2009. Coins received for certification by February 20 were eligible for the designation FIRST DAY OF ISSUE.
|click image to enlarge
The obverse (heads side) of the William Henry Harrison Presidential $1 Coin features a dramatic portrait of the former president by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joe Menna. The inscription IN GOD WE TRUST — formerly featured on the edge of Presidential $1 Coins — is now featured on the obverse. It is the first Presidential $1 Coin to feature the inscription on the obverse.
The coin's reverse (tails side), by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, features a striking image of the Statue of Liberty. Incused on the coin's edge are the inscriptions 2009, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mintmark of origin (P or D for Philadelphia or Denver).
William Henry Harrison was born into a politically prominent family. His father, a three-term governor of Virginia, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Following three years of college, Harrison's father sent him to study medicine with a leading physician. Unenthusiastic about medicine, he instead pursued a military career after his father's death. Harrison distinguished himself in the Battle of Tippecanoe against American Indians led by Shawnee chief Tecumseh — earning the nickname "Old Tippecanoe" — and in the War of 1812. During his Army career, Harrison also served as secretary of the Northwest Territory and governor of the Indiana Territory. He also served in the US Senate in the US House of Representatives, in the Ohio State Senate and as US minister to Columbia.
In 1840, the Whig Party chose Harrison to run against incumbent President Martin Van Buren. "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" (future President John Tyler was his vice presidential candidate) was the first slogan used in a presidential campaign. Harrison defeated Van Buren in a landslide, and at 68 years old, became the oldest president to serve in the office up to that point.
Former President Harrison served the shortest term in office of any president to date. He died of pneumonia about one month after giving the longest inaugural speech in history. He was the first president to die in office.
Adapted from the US Mint press release, issued February 16, 2009. See the full release.