Forgotten History

A silly change
Too many politicians have either forgotten United States history or never knew it. The issue of forgotten history applies to all of the political spectrum. Many politicians don’t know our country’s history.

Several years ago, a newly elected member of Congress was talking about how things would change with the new party majority. Of all the essential work needed to be accomplished, this young man concentrated on the U.S. monetary system. He decided that changing the nickel was the most important item on his agenda. He didn’t like the fact that President Jefferson was looking left. So, he was going to work to change that, and it happened. On the changed Jefferson nickel, he is looking to the right.

Because this young man and many of his colleagues didn’t know or remember or care about President Thomas Jefferson’s history, so much taxpayer money was wasted. Jefferson was the president who opened up much of the Western North American continent with the Louisiana Purchase.

Now for a refresher for those who don’t know or don’t remember: when looking at a map, the west is on the left side of the map. Because President Jefferson was credited with opening the West, his image was made to look left toward the West from Washington, D.C. The changed nickel has Jefferson looking away from the West.

It looks as if it was recognized how silly this change was because the nickel was quickly changed again. On the current nickel, Jefferson is still posed with his body to the right; however, his face is looking out of the coin.

Minted from 1938 to 2004

Minted in 2005

Started minting in 2006

It probably was time to retire the nickel design from 1938, but the silly reason it was changed cost many taxpayers' dollars. I think of all the time and money spent on committee meetings and tooling up machinery to stamp out new coins. Then, only a short time later, more time and money were spent to change the design again.

People running for national office should know more about United States history before making decisions to make silly and costly changes that wastes taxpayers' money for no good reason.



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