March of Dimes Coin Celebrates Conquest of Polio and Today’s Mission for Baby Health
FDR and Dr. Jonas Salk on New Silver Dollar from US Mint
West Point, New York | Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The March of Dimes legacy from conquering polio to championing the health of babies is celebrated on a new 2015 commemorative coin, minted today in honor of the organization’s more than 75 years of life-changing achievements.
The silver dollar coin, authorized by act of Congress, blends the March of Dimes past, present and future. It features a president and a scientist, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dr. Jonas Salk, who played key roles in the March of Dimes work to conquer polio, on the coin’s head or obverse side. The coin’s reverse is the image of a baby being cuddled in the hand of its parent, symbolic of the March of Dimes mission today to help each and every one of the 4 million babies born in the United States each year get a healthy start in life.
Seven-year-old Aidan Lamothe, of Manchester, New Hampshire who was born 11 weeks too soon, joined March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, Peter L. Salk, MD, Dr. Jonas Salk’s eldest son and president of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation, and Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios to help mint the a coin at the US Mint at West Point today.
“The vision and leadership of FDR and Dr. Jonas Salk sparked the drive towards a world that is now nearly free from polio,” said Dr. Howse. “We are thrilled to see this accomplishment – as well as our current work – recognized by Congress and the Secretary of the Treasury with the 2015 March of Dimes Silver Dollar.”
“The fight against polio has been a collective effort involving the contributions of millions of individuals around the globe,” said Dr. Salk. “This coin is a tribute to both the March of Dimes and my father's legacy, and it honors all those who are striving to improve the health of babies and children everywhere. It is especially meaningful to have this coin minted during the centenary year of my father’s birth.”
“I am excited to be here today to honor the March of Dimes Foundation’s 75th anniversary. I congratulate the Foundation for its years of dedication and providing services toward improving the lives of women, infants and children,” said Ms. Rios.
“It was so cool to see how coins get made,” said Aidan, who served as the 2014 March of Dimes National Ambassador and whose grandfather was a “polio pioneer” -- one of the children who took part in the massive field trial to test the Salk polio vaccine in 1954. Aidan plans to be among the first to order the coin and will be giving them away as presents to the nurses who cared for him as a newborn.
Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States. Worldwide, more than one million children die each year due to complications of premature birth. Babies who survive an early birth often face lifetime health challenges, such as vision and breathing problems, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities.
The March of Dimes commemorative coin bill was sponsored in Congress by Former Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL), and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in 2012 authorizing the production of up to 500,000 silver dollars commemorating the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes and celebrating “its distinguished record of generating Americans’ support to protect our children’s health.”
The introductory prices of $46.95 (proof) and $43.95 (uncirculated) are valid until 3:00 p.m. on April 13, 2015. Surcharges of $10 for each silver dollar sold are authorized to be paid to the March of Dimes to help finance research, education and services aimed at improving the health of women, infants, and children. The public can purchase coins at 1.usa.gov/1MoGVwF.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.