S.697 – Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act Details Released

Senate Bill S.697, the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin, has been updated with the text of the bill and coins required if it becomes law. The bill was introduced into the Senate last month and at the time, the General Publishing Office (GPO) had not added the text of the bill on the Congress public site. That has changed now with the full text of the bill available here.

S.697 calls for the minting of 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 Half Dollar clad commemorative coins to be produced to honor the bicentennial of Tubman. The bill also calls for the design of the coin to, “be emblematic of the legacy of Harriet Tubman as an abolitionist. At least one obverse design shall bear the image of Harriet Tubman”. The bill calls for the commemorative coins to be produced in 2024.

Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

The bill has now been sent to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, a standard practice for new coin legislation. While there are no guarantees that the bill will pass, there is a lot of momentum to have a commemorative honoring Tubman. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in March (H.R. 1842) which carries the same title as its Senate counterpart. Generally speaking, there is also widespread support for a Harriet Tubman coin in the United States.

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