H.R. 2453: Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act

H.R. 2453

Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act

April 16, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Monday, April 16, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2453 Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) on July 7, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Financial Services. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 2453 would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue $5 gold coins and $1 silver coins emblematic of the life and legacy of Mark Twain and would limit issuance of such coins to calendar year 2016.

The bill also requires specified surcharges in the sale of such coins, which would be paid, in specified percentages, to: (1) the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, to support the continued restoration of the house and grounds, and ensure continuing growth and innovation in museum programming to research, promote, and educate on the legacy of Mark Twain; (2) the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of University of California, Berkeley, California, to support programs to study and promote Mark Twain's legacy; (3) the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, New York, for the same purposes; and (4) the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, to preserve historical sites related to Mark Twain and help support study and promotion programs.


According to the findings of the bill, Samuel Clemens—better known to the world as Mark Twain—was a unique American voice whose literary work has had a lasting effect on our Nation's history and culture.  Mark Twain remains one of the best known Americans in the world with over 6,500 editions of his books translated into 75 languages.

Twain's literary and educational legacy remains strong even today, with nearly every book he wrote still in print, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--both of which have never gone out of print since they were first published over a century ago.

In the past 2 decades alone, there have been more than 100 books published and over 250 doctoral dissertations written on Twain's life and work.  Even today, Americans seek to know more about the life and work of Mark Twain, as people from around the world and across all 50 States annually flock to National Historic Landmarks like the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT, and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, MO.

Mark Twain's work is remembered today for addressing the complex social issues facing America at the turn of the century, including the legacy of the Civil War, race relations, and the economic inequalities of the “Gilded Age.”


There was no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate available for this bill.