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NNP Blog

Jan 14 2023

ANA Money Talks & The Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal

In 1992 the ANA launched a series of two-minute radio spots, Money Talks, which were offered at no cost to radio stations throughout the country. Several hundred outlets picked up the daily segments, and frequent authors included David Vagi, Gerald Tebben, Scott Rottinghaus, Bill Jones, Mark Van Winkle, Kerry Wetterstrom, and many other familiar names. The January 18, 1993 episode featured a piece on Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Ralph Ross, today the ANA President. Ross noted that numismatic tributes to King were few, and that the U.S. Mint had not released any medals or coins related to King.

On May 4, 1968, shortly after the assassination of King, the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Robert A. Wallace, addressed the New York Numismatic Convention. He spoke in favor of a gold medal honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and these remarks were captured in a U.S. Treasury press release. Despite the good intentions, a congressional medal was not presented to the King family until 2014, under public law 108–368, which awarded a gold medal to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King. This gold medal today resides in the National Museum of African American History Culture, gifted by the King family in 2014. The medal depicts Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King and remains available from the Mint in small (1.5”, $20) and large (3”, $160) bronze formats.

Link to ANA Money Talks for January 18, 1993, written by Ralph Ross:
Link to ANA Money Talks (1992-1993):
Link to U.S. Treasury Press Releases:
Link to Smithsonian catalog record for the Congressional Gold Medal for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King:
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