The Lincoln Cent

This passage details the history of the American one-cent coin.

Lexile Level: 1250L

Categories: History People & Places


The "Lincoln cent" is the name of the one-cent coin currently in circulation in the United States. It has been in use since 1909 and features the image of President Abraham Lincoln on the front. The Lincoln cent was the first mass-produced coin to bear the visage of a person. Prior to 1909, nearly all coins carried the image of "Lady Liberty," and the decision to put Lincoln's face on the coin was met with controversy at the time. The 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, which took place in 1909, helped sway public sentiment in favor of the new coin. Fifty years later in 1959, the reverse side of the coin began carrying the image of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial is depicted in such intricate detail that the statue of Lincoln can be seen between the columns, which made Abraham Lincoln the only person to be featured on both sides of the same coin.


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