Washington D.C., November 15, 2012 -- A ten-year joint effort by historic and research sites dedicated to preserving the legacy of Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) paid off yesterday when the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed S. 1929, The Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act.


The House of Representatives first passed the bill in April but had to update several minor Senate amendments. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Once signed into law, the legislation will require the U.S. Mint to manufacture and sell a commemorative coin in 2016 to honor Mark Twain's legacy. The bipartisan bill is budget neutral, requires no tax dollars, and will benefit four primary Twain sites: The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri; The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut; the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College in Elmira, New York; and The Mark Twain Papers & Project at the University of California, Berkeley.

Cindy Lovell, executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, credited an enthusiastic group of supporters for the legislative victory.

Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) championed this initiative with his colleague, Representative John Larson (D-Conn). Once they achieved success in the House, Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to garner Senate support. I am awed by everyone's steadfast determination to bring this to fruition. They recognized the importance of this legislation from the outset.

Lovell also praised her colleagues at the other Twain sites.

They poured their energy and enthusiasm into getting this done. It was a remarkable team effort that will make a significant impact for all four sites.

David Mobley, President of the Museum's Board of Directors, agreed.

The yield from the proceeds will multiply through our investment in historic preservation. Our nine historic properties form the basis of Hannibal's tourism economy. Visitors travel to Hannibal from around the globe with expectations to see a world-class museum, so maintaining the museum complex is vital to our mission of preserving Twain's legacy and our commitment to our local community. We are grateful for the leadership and vision that resulted in the passage of this coin bill.

Additional details about the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act are available at  http://marktwaincoin.org.

*Contributed by Brenna McDermott with the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.