ANA receives helping hands for new exhibit

Numismatic publishing founder Chet Krause and New Jersey coin dealer Harry Garrison provided special support for the American Numismatic Association Money Museum’s newest exhibit, “Rendezvous with Destiny: The Money of WWII” that opened today.

On December 7 – 61 years after the United States was thrust into the greatest global conflict in the history of mankind – the ANA Money Museum opened its newest exhibit, which fills the 5,000-square-foot main gallery of the Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

At the premiere, more than 550 people visited the exhibit, which will remain on display until August 15, 2003. During a brief ceremony at the opening, retired Brig. Gen. George Fagan, who served with the 8th Air Force in Europe during World War II, and ANA Treasurer and retired Lt. Col. Adna G. Wilde Jr., who trained with the 10th Mountain Division in Colorado and served in Italy during the war, spoke of their experiences and remembrances.

ANA Executive Director Edward C. Rochette, who served in the United States Navy during the war, introduced the guest speakers and spoke about the exhibit. He said, “Money is the engine that drives war. Whether minted from gold, silver or copper, or formed from stone, paper or cloth, money was a major player on all sides of World War II. Regardless of its form or denomination – dollars, francs, lire, marks, pounds, rubles or yen – money was raised to finance war machines, counterfeited to destroy economies and fashioned to sustain lives. Today, it is a reflection of the people and nations that made and used it during those dark years of conflict.”

The M-29 Cargo Carrier “Weasel” included in the exhibit came from Chet Krause’s personal collection of World War II-era vehicles and weapons.

“The ANA is grateful to Chet for the loan of the Weasel,” Rochette says. “These vehicles were used by the Allies on many fronts throughout the war and employed by the 10th Mountain Division, which trained here in Colorado. Adna (Wilde) remembers these track vehicles pushing over rough terrain and snow in the Italian Alps.”

Built by the Studebaker Car Company of South Bend, Indiana, from 1942-45, the Weasel hauled soldiers and equipment over a variety of terrain where wheeled vehicles could not hack out a path. Krause’s Weasel arrived at the ANA Museum in Colorado Springs on a trailer and was driven up the front steps of the building and through the front doors, where it was gingerly moved onto a platform specially built for the exhibit.

Harry Garrison provided 3,000 1943 Canadian “Victory” nickels to be given to exhibit visitors. During World War II, Canada, like the United States, diverted nickel from coins to the war effort. Canada struck 5-cent pieces in a brass alloy of copper and zinc known as tombac. The obverse featured King George VI and the reverse has a “V” for victory as well as the denomination. Around the edge of the reverse are dots and dashes of the international Morse Code, spelling the words “We win when we work willingly.”In addition to the Victory nickels, the ANA distributed 1943 zinc-coated steel cents to Association members who attended the opening. Issued by the United States Mint, the “Steelies” replaced the copper, normally used to produce Lincoln cents, so it could be diverted for strategic purposes during the war.

The opening was praised by World War II veterans, some of whom came in uniform, members of veterans’ organizations and their families. The exhibit brought back memories and enlightened many as to the effects money had on people and armies around the globe.

For more information about the ANA and the Museum’s newest exhibit – “Rendezvous with Destiny: The Money of WWII” – contact the ANA at 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3279; phone 719-632-2646; fax 719-634-4085; e-mail museum@money.org; or visit the ANA website www.money.org.

Originally Release Date: December 7, 2002
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
                            Email: pr@money.org