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From today's featured article

Obverse of an 1879 Morgan dollar

The Morgan dollar coin was minted from 1878 to 1904, and again in 1921. It is named for its designer, U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty, while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched. The Coinage Act of 1873, which stopped the minting of silver dollars, was reversed by a series of laws supporting production of the Morgan dollar. The Bland–Allison Act of 1878 required the Treasury to purchase between two and four million dollars' worth of silver at market value to be coined into dollars each month. In 1890 that act was repealed by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the Treasury to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but this act too was repealed, in 1893. An 1898 law required all remaining bullion to be coined into silver dollars, and when those reserves were depleted in 1904, production of the Morgan dollar ended. The Pittman Act, passed in 1918, authorized the melting and recoining of millions of silver dollars, and the Morgan dollar resumed mintage for one year in 1921, before its replacement by the Peace dollar later the same year. (Full article...)

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Chamba Rumal
Chamba Rumal

In the news

Total solar eclipse, viewed from Balikpapan
Total solar eclipse, viewed from Balikpapan

On this day...

March 11: Independence Day in Lithuania (1990)

Michelle Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet

From today's featured list

Shamokin Creek in Shamokin, Pennsylvania
Shamokin Creek in Shamokin, Pennsylvania

There are 12 named tributaries of Shamokin Creek (pictured), a 32.4-mile (52.1 km) long tributary of the Susquehanna River. Of the 12 tributaries, 11 flow directly into Shamokin Creek. The longest tributaries are Little Shamokin Creek, Carbon Run, North Branch Shamokin Creek, Coal Run, and Millers Run. Many of the upper tributaries of Shamokin Creek are in the Western Middle Anthracite Coalfield and nearly all of the streams in this part of the watershed are impacted by mining, except for Furnace Run. Various mine drainage sites occur in the watersheds of all other streams in the upper Shamokin Creek watershed. None of the tributaries in the lower reaches of the Shamokin Creek watershed are affected by mining. Although the main stem of the creek is designated as a Warmwater Fishery, all of its tributaries are designated as Coldwater Fisheries. Some tributaries, such as North Branch Shamokin Creek and Quaker Run, lack fish life. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a species of sloth from Central and South America named for the German naturalist Karl Hoffmann. This solitary, largely nocturnal and arboreal animal, is found in mature and secondary rainforests and deciduous forests. Adults range from 54 to 72 cm (21 to 28 in) in head-and-body length, and weigh from 2.1 to 9 kg (4.6 to 19.8 lb). Females are larger on average than males, although with considerable overlap in size.

Photograph: Geoff Gallice

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