Final Push Coming for Apollo 11 Commemoratives
H.R. 2726, introduced last year by Rep. Bill Posey (R- FL),
and its companion bill, S. 2957, introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D- FL) on May
19, are known as the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin
The House bill already has enough co-sponsors (298) to put
the bill to a vote on the House floor, which is expected not long after the
Congress comes back after Tuesday’s presidential election, and it should pass.
The Senate bill currently only has 11 co-sponsors, but if
the House bill passes, that will put the matter in the hands of the Senate.
Momentum has been building steadily all year for the
legislation that calls for issuing four coins in 2019, the usual trio of a clad
half, silver dollar, and $5 gold coin, plus the first-ever 5-oz. proof
coin. And each coin would be struck in
the concave/convex shape used for the 2014 baseball coins.
There is strong interest in the collecting community for
these coins, and many collectors have contacted their congressional
representatives asking them to support the legislation.
But if the Senate is not able to muster 67 co-sponsors,
there will be no vote this year, and the bill will die at the end of the 104th
Congress in December.
Next year the new Congress will have its hands full with the
start of a new administration, which means many presidential appointments to
consider and many other matters besides coins.
Michael Olson, a former CCAC member who suggested these
coins be issued when he served on the committee, has worked since 2014 to
promote the program.
He told me this week he is still cautiously optimistic about
the Senate and that astronauts Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin have both sent
letters to the Senate in support of the bill.
Others in the space community have also expressed strong support.
In addition, the Astronaut Memorial Foundation and the
Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which are among the groups that would receive
any surcharges from the sale of the coins, are both traveling to Washington, DC
this month to meet with senators.
It is important that we not lose this opportunity since the
bills may not be reintroduced in the next Congress if they are not passed in
the current one.
So please contact your Senator, if you have not already done
so, and promote the program with social media.
Here is what Buzz Aldrin said in his Nov. 1 letter, which
you may find useful when contacting your Senator:
“As we quickly approach the 50th anniversary of the Moon
landing, I urge you to recognize this incredible achievement by cosponsoring
the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. Almost five decades ago,
our Nation took bold steps to achieve President Kennedy’s challenge and
mobilized the country to achieve his vision, “to go to the Moon in this
decade…” Eight years following Alan
Shepard’s extraordinary accomplishment - being the first American to travel
into space - our Nation landed Neil Armstrong and me on the lunar surface. We
remain the only country that has ever landed humans on the Moon and returned
them safely to Earth.
The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin celebrates
American ingenuity and our spirit of space exploration. Moreover, these coins
will support college scholarships for future scientists, engineers and
astronauts; benefit the National Air and Space Museum’s new “Destination Moon”
exhibit; and honor astronauts who have fallen in the line of duty.
These coins pay tribute to our Nation’s resolve, the
hundreds of thousands of Americans who contributed to Apollo’s success, and our
remarkable ability to accomplish a truly amazing technological feat. I
encourage you to support this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commemorate 50
years since the Eagle landed in the Sea of Tranquility, an event that defined
the United States of America as the greatest space faring nation on Earth.”