It was a hot day in Philadelphia when the First Continental Congress met on July 4, 1776 to finalize a resolution that would permanently separate the American colonies from the British Crown. According to the leaders of the day, it was the only way to rid themselves of the unfairness of British rule. In order to ensure that everyone was heard, the Congress adjourned and met as a Committee of the Whole to debate and adopt the resolution.

President Gerald Ford Speaking at Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC on May 20, 1975.

After each state cast one vote in favor of the Declaration before the Committee of the Whole, the committee was adjourned. The measure was brought before the full First Continental Congress who voted in favor of the Declaration. Although independence was declared from England it would not be fully realized until 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Thirty-three years ago, the United States celebrated its Bicentennial with a big celebration. As part of the celebration, the US Mint issued special circulating commemoratives honoring the occasion. For those of us who were born at the end of the Baby Boom generation, this was the first change in coinage we experienced. It was a great experience, especially when I shook hands with President Gerald Ford during a public appearance in Charlotte in 1975.

In honor of the United States Independence Day Celebration, here is my collection of Bicentennial Silver Proof Coins autographed by the artists whose designs were used.

1976-S Silver Proof Bicentennial Autograph Set



Have a Happy and Safe Independence Day and please thank any active duty military service person or veteran today!

Image of President Ford speaking at the Charlotte, N.C., bicentennial celebration on May 20, 1975, courtesy of Andy Burriss Photography.

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