US Coins

Selma march congressional gold medal presentation set

March 7, 2015, aboard Air Force One, President Obama signs into law the legislation authorizing awarding a congressional gold medal to the protesters who marched from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama demanding the right to vote. The bill was signed on the 50th anniversary of the first of three marches, the first known as Bloody Sunday. The president was en route to participate in activities marking the 50th anniversary of the events that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Image courtesy of the White House.

Collectors and others will have to wait until Feb. 24 to see what designs were selected for the obverse and reverse of the congressional gold medal honoring the Foot Soldiers of the Civil Rights marches in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

Feb. 24 is the date set aside by Congress for the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the official presentation of the gold medal. The House and Senate passed a concurrent resolution Feb. 4 reserving the location for the medal presentation ceremony.

The marches, in protest of the denial of the marchers' right to vote, served as a catalyst to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Following the official presentation of the gold medal, the medal, according to the authorizing act, "shall be given to the Selma Interpretative [sic] Center in Selma, Alabama, where it shall be available for display or temporary loan to be displayed elsewhere, as appropriate."

The authorizing act for the gold medal, Public Law 114-5, provides the Treasury secretary, at his discretion, the authority to direct the U.S. Mint to strike and issue 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal for sale to the public. Current pricing for bronze duplicates of congressional gold medal is $39.95 for the 3-inch medal and $6.95 for the 1.5-inch medal.

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