Thursday, December 17, 2009

the duke of dc

I just noticed the Washington D.C. quarter has Duke Ellington on it.

As far as I know this is the first working musician to be shown on a US coin, although some of the other state quarters have musical references.

I say "working" since Thomas Jefferson allegedly played the violin.

Not the first black American on a US coin however. A commemorative half dollar was struck in 1946 to honor Booker T. Washington.

But I've never found a Booker T. Washington half dollar in my pocket change.

"Booker" is an unusual name, obviously from an age before people were afraid their children would ever learn anything.

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