The Native American Dollar was introduced in 2009 displaying an annually changing reverse design. This, featured, 2018 Native American $1 has a reverse design that commemorates the contributions of Jim Thorpe to American sports and culture. Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as "Bright Path", is the native name for Jim Thorpe (May 28th, 1887 – March 28th, 1953), who was a multi-talented American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for his home country.
In 1912 Thorpe won the decathlon and the pentathlon by wide margins at the Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden only to be stripped of his gold medals in 1913, by the International Olympic Committee, after an investigation by the Amateur Athletic Union showed he played semiprofessional baseball in 1909 and 1910. Though this devastated Thorpe, later that same year he began receiving offers to play for professional sports clubs. He then signed to play professional baseball from 1913 – 1919. He played with teams such as the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Braves. Thorpe also played and coached professional football around the same time. Signing with the Canton Bulldogs in 1915, he went on to play professional football for numerous teams until 1928 and was later introduced into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Thirty years after his death, the IOC approved Thorpe’s reinstatement and in January of 1983, presented two of Thorpe’s children with commemorative medals. Although Thorpe is listed as a gold medalist by the IOC, his results from 1912 have yet to be restored to the official Olympic records. In the 1930’s, Thorpe sprouted a movie career by appearing in several short films and feature films. His roles were usually cameo appearances as an Indian, to say the least. In his last film, Wagon Master, circa 1950, he played a member of the Navajo Nation.
The U.S. Mint has given collectors an opportunity to own a coin depicting one of America’s greatest Native American athletes by commemorating him on the 2018 Native American Dollar. Submit yours to PCGS for First Strike grading today.
Composition: 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese, 2% Nickel, Balance Copper
Weight: 8.100 grams
Diameter: 1.043 inches (26.49mm)
Mint and Mint Mark: Philadelphia – P and Denver – D