Today we celebrate the history of the penny. Worth just 1 cent, the penny is rich in historical value!
Under the Congress of the Confederation, the first “penny” created was the Fugio coin. It is also known as the Franklin Coin, as it was designed by Ben Franklin. It was worth 1/100 of a Spanish dollar and minted ONLY in 1787. They were created by a private coiner and not widely circulated.
The first coin with a value of 1/100 of a U.S. dollar was minted in 1793. It was a “Large Cent” with a diameter of 11⁄8 inch containing the personification of Liberty with flowing hair on the front, and an interlinked chain on the back. This was our first official coinage minted by the United States, on United States Land, using United States equipment. That’s exciting.
The Large Cent was made of copper by the Philadelphia Mint. They were bulky and bigger than modern day quarters.
The Large Cent was replaced by what we now call the penny in 1857.
Did you know that the casual term, penny comes from a British coin of the same name? The official U.S. mint name is “cent” and the U.S. Treasury refers to what we call the penny as a “one cent piece”.
Coincidentally, the penny costs the government of the US more than 1 cent to produce it, and as such it is worth examining the discussion if the penny should continue to be produced. Perhaps today you can create a list outlining the pros and cons of continuing to produce the penny.
Other activities for today:
Examine your pennies and sort them oldest to most modern. Look at the variations in design.
Roll your pennies and deposit them in the bank, or take them to the “Dollar Store” to spend.If you are interested in collecting pennies, these are great books to get you started: Pressed Pennies are another fun item to collect. You can store them in a book like this:
Some other fun books that would make a great Read on a day like today:
Go on a walk and see if you can find a penny – you know the saying: Find a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!
Homeschool Holiday put together a collection of penny themed quotes in 3 different styles: Trace, Print and Cursive for your copywork pleasure. There are 7 different quotes in this collection and on the last page of the packet you can research the famous people in history credited with their wisdom by scanning the QR codes. The packet is available in both my Teachers Pay Teachers store as well as Amped Up Learning store for just $1.25.
Another EASY activity to do is to gather all the pennies you can find.
1 – 12 inch square of aluminum foil
a large bowl, or bin for water.
Use the 12 inch foil to make a tin foil boat. Float the boat in the water. Predict how many pennies you can put in the boat before it will sink… add pennies until your boat sinks!
You can build different boats to see if the style makes a difference!
I hope celebrating One Cent Day was fun for you! Feel free to let us know what you did to celebrate in the comments below!
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