U.S. Congressional Gold Medal

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The United States Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Each medal honors a particular individual, institution, or event.

On February 21, 1985 U.S.Representative Byron L. Dorgan (ND) introduced H.R.1207, a bill to award a special gold medal to the family of Harry Chapin. The bill would eventually have 231 co-sponsors.

On May 1, 1986 the Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs met to consider H.R. 1207.[1]

Fifteen months after being introduced, on May 20, 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed the bill that was passed by the 99th Congress. This became public law 99-311. Chapin's Gold Medal was presented to his widow Sandy by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy at Carnegie Hall in New York on December 7, 1987.

Text of the Resolution

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That (a) the President is authorized to present, on behalf of the Congress, to the family of Harry Chapin, a gold medal of appropriate design, in recognition of Harry Chapin's efforts to address issues of hunger around the world.

(b) For purposes of the presentation referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause to be struck a gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions to be determined by the Secretary.

(c) Effective October 1, 1985, there are authorized to be appropriated not to exceed $20,000 to carry out this section.

SEC. 2. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury may cause duplicates in bronze of the medal provided for in the first section to be coined and sold under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, at a price sufficient to cover the cost thereof, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold medal.

(b) The appropriation used to carry out the first section shall be reimbursed out of the proceeds of such sales.

SEC. 3. The medals provided for in this Act are national medals for the purpose of section 5111 of title 31, United States Code. Approved May 20, 1986.[2]


  1. "To Provide Gold Medals Honoring the Family of Harry Chapin" View from the Cheap Seats! Don McFarland. Retrieved 2012-01-14  
  2. United States Statutes at Large, Volume 100, Part 1 U.S. Government Printing Office p. 500. Retrieved 2012-01-14  

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