U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-9) legislation creating a Mark Twain commemorative coin to help boost Hannibal’s economy through tourism at no cost to American taxpayers has received final approval by the House of Representatives, sending the bill to the Senate for consideration. The bill passed 408-4.
“Mark Twain has been an important part of our country’s history, and I’m honored that this bipartisan legislation will help preserve Twain’s literary legacy and historic sites at no cost to hard-working taxpayers,” said Luetkemeyer, who spoke on the legislation on the House floor. “The Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act honors Twain’s contribution to American history and his connection to the area where he was born and raised. I am also pleased that this legislation will help grow opportunities for Hannibal and surrounding communities.”
Under the legislation, the U.S. Mint will produce for a limited time, $1 silver and $5 gold coins. The sale price of each coin will be calculated at the combined total of each coin’s respective face value, production and design costs, and a surcharge remitted by the U.S. Treasury to the recipient organizations, thereby costing taxpayers nothing.
Sites benefiting from the surcharge include the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, New York and the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, California.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal commemorates the childhood of a man who grew up to be one of the most recognized names in literature. Twain would eventually move to Hartford, Connecticut, where he settled down, built a house and began to work on what would become his most famous work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
In New York, Elmira College breathes new life into the history of Mark Twain, offering fellowships for research on the author. Elmira College also hosts a Mark Twain conference and provides tours of Twain’s study, where he sought refuge to write several short stories and some of his most famous novels. The Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley houses the Mark Twain papers, an extensive archive of virtually every document in Mark Twain’s hand, known to survive.