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On December 7, 2002 - 61 years after the United States was thrust into the greatest global conflict in the history of mankind - the American Numismatic Association Museum will open "Rendezvous with Destiny: The Money of WWII." This new exhibit will fill the 5,000-square-foot main gallery of the Museum at 818 North Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs.

World War II involved more nations and a larger geographical area than any war, taking the lives of more than 70 million people around the globe. The ramifications and reverberations of that greatest of all conflicts continue to impact the lives of every person alive today.

Money is the engine that drives war. Whether minted from gold, silver or copper, or formed from stone, paper or cloth, money was a major player on all sides of World War II. Regardless of its form or denomination - dollars, francs, lire, marks, pounds, rubles or yen - money was raised to finance war machines, counterfeited to destroy economies and fashioned to sustain lives. Today, it is a reflection of the people and nations that made and used it during those dark years of conflict.

Throughout World War II, shortages in material and manpower forced both the Allied and Axis powers to radically alter their coinage. For example, copper used to produce the Lincoln cent was diverted in 1943 to manufacture weapons. The copper taken out of pocket change was put to use in making two naval cruisers and destroyers, 1,243 B-17 bombers, and 240 field guns and howitzers. The zinc-coated steel replacement Lincoln cents collected today remain a simple yet poignant reminder of the effects of war on money.

This comprehensive exhibit at the Museum - operated by the American Numismatic Association, a 30,000-member, nonprofit, educational organization chartered by Congress - will showcase the coins, currency and artifacts from that great, global conflict.

From the European Theatre, the exhibit will include Allied and Axis coinage that changed as metal was channeled toward strategic uses; German-issued prisoner of war and concentration camp money; occupational and military money; and Axis and Allied counterfeit currency printed to shatter economies and morale. From the Pacific Theatre, the exhibit will include Hawaii overprint money produced by the United States as an economic defense measure soon after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor; Japanese occupational currency printed in the local denominations, such as pesos, guldens and dollars; and recovered silver coins from the Treasure of Manila Bay that was dumped into the Philippine waters to prevent its capture. From the Home Front, the exhibit will include U.S. War Bonds and ration coupons; steel cents, silver nickels and coins made from cartridge cases; internment camp and prisoner-of-war money; military orders and decorations presented to airmen, sailors and soldiers engaged in battles; and memorabilia from the 10th Mountain Brigade, which trained at Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado. For more information about this exhibit, contact the ANA Museum at 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3279; telephone 719/632-2646 ext. 354; fax 719/634-4085; E-mail museum@money.org; or visit the ANA web site at www.money.org.


Return to ANA Newsroom Copyright © 2002 ANA®

November 8, 2002 
CONTACT: Stephen L. Bobbitt 
Telephone: 719/632-2646 x113 
E-mail pr@money.org

Copyright © 2002 ANA®


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