January 28 2016
Two new commemorative coins, minted by the United States Mint and honoring Mark Twain, will debut locally on February 2 at an event celebrating the 145th wedding anniversary of Twain to his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, at 7:00 p.m., in historic Cowles Hall at Elmira College.
The public is invited to join the Center for Mark Twain Studies for the celebration, which will include a performance of “Twain Sides of the Same Coin” by Mark Dawidziak, television critic for the Cleveland Plan Dealer and independent Mark Twain Scholar. Dawidziak, who has written several books on Mark Twain, will also be signing copies of his publications that will be available for purchase that evening. The evening will also feature anniversary cake and punch and an opportunity to order the Mark Twain Commemorative Coins. The Center will have ordering information for those who wish to order either the gold coins or silver coins in large numbers. A small supply of the silver coins will be available for purchase directly from the Center beginning in early February.
Since 1982, the United States Mint has been producing modern commemorative coins authorized by Congress. On December 4, 2012, Public Law 112-201 instructed “the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.” The $5 gold coin goes on sale to the public at usmint.gov on January 14, 2016, while the silver dollar goes on sale January 27. Surcharges from the sale of the coins are authorized to be paid to the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT; the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley; Elmira College’s Center for Mark Twain Studies; and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, MO. Available only this year (or while supplies last), a small number of coins will be available to purchase from the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Coins may also be ordered through the Center or directly from the United States Mint at www.usmint.gov.
The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies was founded in January 1983 with the gift of Quarry Farm to Elmira College by Jervis and Irene Langdon, the great-grand-nephew (and his wife) of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The Center offers distinctive programs to foster and support Mark Twain scholarship and to strengthen the teaching of Mark Twain at all academic levels. The Center serves the Elmira College community and regional, national, and international students and scholars of Mark Twain.