US Coins

Christa McAuliffe commemorative silver dollar law signed

President Trump signed a bill into law authorizing a commemorative silver dollar honoring Christa McAuliffe. The coin will be issued in 2021. 

The bill, S. 239, or the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019, was introduced to the Senate on Jan. 28 by Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH. It passed the Senate on July 19, was placed on the House Schedule on Sept. 13, and passed the House on Sept. 19. President Trump signed the bill Oct. 9. 

The bill stipulates that the Treasury designs, mints, and issues a silver dollar featuring Christa McAuliffe, the New Hampshire schoolteacher who died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986. An organization was founded in McAuliffe’s memory, called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). The organization, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, encourages student to pursue careers in science and technology. Once statutory requirements are met, all of the surcharges generated by sales for the McAuliffe silver dollar will be donated to FIRST. 

The Treasury, through the Mint, will now have to solicit designs for the silver dollar and determined, in conjunction with the Citizens’ Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts.

So far, this is the only 2021 commemorative coin program to be approved. Under current law, a second program is allowable.

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