(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today announced his introduction of the bipartisan Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act – a bill to authorize the U.S. Mint to issue commemorative coins to honor Mark Twain and to raise money for organizations that educate Americans about the author’s legacy.
“Mark Twain is an American icon with deep roots and a proud history in Connecticut,” said Blumenthal. “People of all ages from every corner of the globe seek to learn from Twain’s literary works, wisdom, and wit each day. This bill commemorates his cultural and historic legacy and empowers those organizations most committed to preserving it.”
Legislation such as the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act is used by Congress to express public gratitude for distinguished figures and their contributions to American society. Several institutions around the country provide unique opportunities for students and visitors to learn about Twain’s life and work: The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut; The Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley; The Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, New York; and The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri. The sale of commemorative coins issued by the U.S. Mint may be used to help raise funding for these institutions.
Blumenthal’s bill would require that surcharges received from the coins be divided equally between the four institutions. The coins would be issued for one year starting on January 1, 2016 and no more than 100,000 gold coins and 350,000 silver coins would be issued.
Blumenthal was joined by several of his colleagues in co-sponsoring the legislation: Senators Lieberman (ID-CT), Blunt (R-MO), Feinstein (D-CA), Gillibrand (D-NY), McCaskill (D-MO), Schumer (D-NY), and Boxer (D-CA). Congressmen John Larson (CT-01) introduced the companion bill to the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nearly every book Twain wrote is still in print - including classics such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which has not gone out of print since it was first published more than a century ago.