Elgin, Illinois is not a city of particularly national importance. Nonetheless, Elgin became the subject of a US Mint-issued commemorative coin in 1936 thanks to the efforts of Trygve Rovelstad, a native of the town. Rovelstad, the son of Norwegian immigrants, sought to erect a memorial sculpture in Elgin honoring the city’s earliest settlers. He was familiar with the concept of commemorative half dollars, which were commonly issued at that time to raise funds for a specific cause. In 1935, Rovelstad was successful in lobbying his Congressman to introduce legislation authorizing a half dollar with the intent of raising funds for his memorial.
Only a few days after Trump’s inauguration ceremony, the U.S. National Debt will creep across the important psychological barrier of $20 trillion.
It’s a problem that’s been passed down to him, but it certainly puts the incoming administration in a difficult place. The debt is burdensome by pretty much any metric, and the rate of borrowing has exceeded economic growth pretty much since the late 1970s.
How Trump deals with this escalating constraint will be a deciding factor in whether his administration crashes and burns – or ends up re-positioning America for greatness.
Thomas Jefferson’s government did not originally intend to acquire the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson was chiefly concerned with preserving American trading access to the Mississippi River and the city of New Orleans. Amid the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and a slave revolt in what is now Haiti, it was unclear whether France would be capable of defending its possessions in North America against Great Britain. Jefferson initially offered to purchase just New Orleans and a small amount of land for $10 million, but Napoleon replied with an offer of the entire territory for just $15 million.
It was an up and down year for commodities, but things ultimately finished in the black.
The biggest winners on the year were base metals and the oil and gas sector.
Here’s how base metals did:
Bitcoin is no stranger to extreme fluctuations.
For each of the last four years, the cryptocurrency has either been the best or the worst performing currency – with nothing to be found in between.
Luckily, for those that follow the digital currency closely, those fluctuations were mostly pointed in an upwards direction for 2016. The currency finished the year at $968.23, which is more than double its value from the beginning of the year.
It’s by no means the scarcest or most expensive of all U.S. coins, but the storied 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent may very well be the most famous. The coin is ubiquitous among collectors, but it’s also well-known outside of numismatic circles too. Many Americans either fantasized of stumbling upon one in everyday pocket change – or buying one to complete their Wheat Penny collections.
Have you ever wondered which currencies receive the most trading action? The data for the following chart comes from a survey done every three years by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).
Note that trading volume adds up to 200%, because each currency trade has a pairing.
Ezra Meeker traveled the Oregon Trail by ox-drawn wagon with his family as a young settler in 1852. Concerned that the history of the pioneers that traversed the Oregon Trail was becoming lost, he retraced his route from Iowa to Oregon in 1906-1908, attracting much publicity. For the remainder of his long life, he sought to memorialize the Oregon Trail through a variety of means.
As a young nobleman in France, the Marquis de Lafayette was inspired by the nascent rebellion in Britain's American colonies. At the age of 19, the wealthy Marquis sailed to America and obtained a commission as a Major General in the Continental Army. He distinguished himself in battle and was useful in obtaining official support from the French monarchy later in the war. He commanded forces at the decisive Battle of Yorktown in 1781 and returned to France the following year as a "hero of two worlds."