If you know your numismatic history, you’re probably familiar with the Pittman Act of 1918, an American federal law that was sponsored by Senator Key Pittman of Nevada and enacted on April 23, 1918. The Pittman Act resulted in millions of silver dollars being melted down and sold as bullion overseas, with the U.S. Mint required to buy silver from American mining companies at rates above the market price.
Coin Week reports:
While it is true that the Act was meant to help silver mining companies in the western states, that wasn’t the main point. In fact, a good portion of the Act was written to buy the cooperation of Western politicians in something that just might have saved World War I for the Allies.
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