Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins
The Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins will be the twentieth strikes of the United States Mint program which honors the former First Spouses of the Presidents of the United States. The program debuted in 2007 with at least four gold coins appearing annually from it. The Hayes coins mark the third scheduled to appear in 2011.Authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, each coin in the First Spouse Gold Coin series is issued in the order upon which the associated President held office. Thus, the first coin released in the program was the Martha Washington First Spouse Gold Coin in honor of the wife of the first President of the United States, George Washington.
The Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins have a $10 face value and are struck from 1/2 ounce of 24-karat gold to either proof or uncirculated condition. The obverse (heads side) of the coins show a portrait of the Presidential spouse with the reverse (tails side) showing Lucy Hayes participating in the first Easter Egg Roll held at the White House.
The U.S. Mint announced the release date for the Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins as September 1, 2011.
Lucy Hayes Biography (1831-1889)
Lucy was born to James and Maria Webb on August 28, 1831. She lost her father, who was a doctor, while still a young child. Despite the hardships associated with growing up without a father, Lucy was given an excellent education and even attended college – making her one of the first Presidential spouses to have done so.
Rutherford B. Hayes was in the midst of establishing a successful law practice when he met the young Lucy (nine years his junior). The romance blossomed and the two were married on December 30, 1852 – Rutherford was 30 years old and Lucy was 21.
Rutherford and Lucy soon established a family with four sons and a daughter living to reach adulthood. Rutherford continued his practice while Lucy ran the household. When Rutherford joined the army during the American Civil War, Lucy would often join him in the field. She was also known and well liked by many men under the command of her husband during the war with her acts of kindness to wounded and dying soldiers, earning her the nickname "Mother Lucy."
Her devotion to her husband and his work would continue after the military. With a few terms in Congress under his belt, Rutherford was elected governor of Ohio. Lucy honed her social skills during this time and it would serve her well when Rutherford was elected to the Presidency in 1877.
Loved by most in Washington, her banning of alcohol at official functions was mostly overlooked by the contemporaries of her time. Later, she would be called "Lemonade Lucy" for her temperance attitude, but her adeptness at ceremonial gatherings endeared her to many.
The Hayes left the White House in 1881 and set about for a peaceful retirement. Lucy would live another eight years before dying of a stroke on June 25, 1889.