The lapse in U.S. dollar coinage between the Peace dollar (1921-1935) and the Eisenhower dollar (1971-1978) was not the first time dollar coins had not been minted in the United States. For example, back in 1873, when the Liberty Seated dollar ended its 23-year run, citizens would have to wait until 1878 for the Morgan silver dollar to appear. But the dollar drought between the Peace and Eisenhower was a long one, spanning World War II, the birth of rock 'n' roll, the assassination of President Kennedy (as well as his brother Robert and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and the landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin safely on the Moon.

Two of these events were honored in the Eisenhower dollar of 1971. Eisenhower, of course, was the commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War II, leading the landing at Normandy in 1944. For that feat, he was rewarded with two terms as president in the 1950s. But the back of the Eisenhower dollar is also a nod to President Kennedy, who laid out the vision to land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. Thus, on the coin's reverse, the eagle, which has been a national symbol since 1782, is seen to be landing on the Moon, with the Earth hovering in space behind him. Eisenhower dollars went on hiatus in 1975, then, in 1976, the eagle was replaced by the Liberty Bell to mark the nation's bicentennial. In 1977, the eagle was returned to the coin's reverse for 22 more years, although Susan B. Anthony would replace Eisenhower on the coin's obverse in 1979.

With mintages in the tens of millions, most Eisenhower dollars are not worth more than their face value, although the relatively small mintage of 1973, San Francisco-minted, silver-clad Eisenhower dollars makes these examples somewhat more valuable than the rest.

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