225th Anniversary Coin Depicts African-American Woman

225th Anniversary Coin Depicts African-American Woman

Female money: coming soon to a mint near you.
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The internet exploded when it was leaked that Harriet Tubman would be the new face of the $20 bill. People went wild with discourse, debate, and excitement for this advancement in U.S. currency, but no one’s getting photos of the Tubman bill until 2020, and due to new technologies in counterfeit security and texture for the visually-impaired, the Mint says they honestly have no clue when the bills will be physically released to the public. The current blue strip on many U.S. bills took fifteen years alone to develop, so estimates for future invention are unsure. But when Tubman finally reaches the people the Mint plans to put out other $5 and $10 bills depicting many of America’s most famous women, such as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt.

However, we’ll get a revolutionary form of currency within the next four months of this year. Well, sort of.

An African-American woman is representing Lady Liberty on the U.S. Mint’s 225th anniversary commemorative coin. This is the second U.S. coin featuring a woman of color, the first being the Sacagawea gold dollar. It has been particularly specified that the depiction is an African-American woman, but not any particular historical figure. It is made of 24-karat gold and officially valued at $100. This constitutes the “almost.” While it is currency created and licensed by the U.S. Mint, it’s aimed at being more of a collector’s item rather than everyday pocket change. 100,000 will be made and estimated retail prices for the collectible exceed $1000. More details about the coin will be revealed as the April 6 release date approaches.

After the coin comes out the Mint plans to design others depicting Lady Liberty as Asian, Latina, and Indian, “to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States,” (x). Especially now in a time of civil unrest and political chaos in the U.S., these coins and bills stand to represent the diversity that makes America what it is and honor the fact that not all of America’s greatest feats were made by white men in wigs and/or suits, especially in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It honors our political and cultural efforts, still greatly a work-in-progress, to make America inclusive and accepting to all peoples. It’s an important start to make America’s face reflect its history, to make its symbols representative of those they symbolize, and to give reverence to those whole built this nation, both politically and socially. In celebration of the Mint’s 225th anniversary, the Mint is going to make a coin that helps truly represent America.

Cover Image Credit: http://2qibqm39xjt6q46gf1rwo2g1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_M-Coin-EDH-170114.jpg

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Salem Witch Trials

History will never die, but it is our job to make sure we do not make the same mistakes from our past.

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The term witch hunt has been defined as: a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft. In today's society, we no longer see that term being used for witchcraft but more so politically in a reasoning for harassment.

The most well-known "witch hunt" that took place in the United States was during the spring of 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. A group of young women claimed that they had been possessed by the Devil and women in their village were practicing witchcraft. This accusation rippled into mass panic throughout the village, leading up to the events we know now as the Salem Witch Trials.

These trials took place during February of 1692 to May of 1693 - resulting in the death of 20 women while over 200 women were accused of practicing witchcraft. While these trials are in the past, we are still being faced with "witch-hunts" to this very day in our modern society.

In 1689, William III and Mary II, English rulers of the time, started a war with France in the American colonies. This was known as King William's War to colonists and it devastated areas around upstate New York, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. This sent refugees into the country of Essex and, specifically, Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Since people from these damaged lands were trying to find a haven, it also resulted in a major decrease in sources for Salem Village. Due to the high amounts of stress created through the village, townsfolk began to grow aggravated with each other. One thing lead to another and soon the Puritan villagers began to believe that this was the work of the Devil.

Since townsfolk were already on edge with one another, it became easier for those to believe that others in town were practicing witchcraft, blaming the accused for anything wrong that came their way - and it didn't stop there. By January of 1692, the daughter and niece of Salem Village's minister, Samuel Parris, were growing sick, and accusations flew through the roof. Parris' daughter, Elizabeth – otherwise known as Betty, and Abigail, began having fits that included violent contortions and screaming outbursts.

A local doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed both girls with bewitchment, along with other young girls in the community showed similar symptoms. These young girls were Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Walcott, and Marry Warrant. In late February, arrest warrants were issued for the Parris' Caribbean slave, Tituba, along with two other women–the homeless beggar Sarah Good and the poor, elderly Sarah Osborn–whom the girls accused of bewitching them. The three women that were accused of practicing witchcraft were brought to civilian officers, Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne, for questioning.

While Good and Osborn denied that they were witches, Tituba confessed. Tituba described in detail images of black dogs, red cats, yellow birds, and a "black man" who wanted her to sign his book. Tituba admitted that she signed the book and said there were several other witches looking to destroy the Puritans. All three women were put in jail.

The thing that truly made the Salem Witch Trials so gut-wrenching were the tests done to the accused. The most well-known tests done were the swimming test, prayer test, and the witch's mark. All tests were done to prove whether or not the accused were really a witch or not, and the tests were usually extremely unfair. When it came to the swimming test, the accused were tied to a chair and thrown into the lake.

It was believed that if you were a witch, you would float, but if you were innocent, you would sink. The majority of the time, it ended with the accused sinking to the bottom of the lake, many not surviving despite the rope tied around their waist. When it came to the prayer test, if the accused slipped even in the slightest way possible, they were deemed a witch and burned to death.

The witch's mark was a flaw on the body that only a "witch" could have, or so the townsfolk thought. If the accused had a mole, scar, extra nipple, or even a birthmark, they were sentenced to death as a witch. As you can see, these tests were extremely unfair and led to far too many deaths that were not needed whatsoever.

The newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, established the special Court of Oyer and Terminer (hear and determine) witch cases on May 27th of 1692. This determined the fate of accused witches in Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties. The court consisted of eight judges; Jonathan Corwin, Bartholomew Gedney, John Hathorne, John Richards, William Stoughton (Chief Magistrate), Samuel Sewall, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Peter Sergeant, and Waitstill Winthrop.

The first case this special court had to judge was that of Bridget Bishop, an older woman in town. Bishop was later found guilty and on June 10, the first hanging occurred in what later would be known as Gallows Hill. Five days later, minister Cotton Mather wrote a letter that pleaded the court to not accept testimonies that related around dreams and visions.

The court would not listen and five people were sentenced and hanged in July, five more in August and eight in September. On October 3, following in his son's footsteps, Increase Mather, then president of Harvard, denounced the use of spectral evidence. In January 1697, the Massachusetts General Court declared a day of fasting for the tragedy of the Salem witch trials. The Court of Oyer and Terminer was later found to be unlawful when it came to trials.

While the witch hunt did finally come to an end, the painful memory of those killed lasted forever. Fortunately, the heirs of townsfolk would not have to live the way they had to – suffering to find food and deal with constant accusations over religion and witchcraft. The town never did return to how it originally started, the damage of the trials being too overwhelming for others to ignore but in the end, Salem Village survived the mass hysteria.

We are no longer burning accused "witches" at the stake, yet witch hunts are still a very common thing to this day. In politics, people can become very nasty with one another – targeting anyone that disagrees with their ideas. It is cruel and shows how little we have moved forward in history. We see witch hunts between white officers and innocent black community members, cis-gender men and women targeting transgender men and women, and most of all – our very own president.

Many bystanders could say that these "witch hunts" are nowhere near as cruel as they were back in Salem, but those who are being accused, much like the witches of Salem, are fearing for their lives just like the accused were in the 1600s. History will never die, but it is our job to make sure that we do not repeat the same mistakes from our past.

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