The first Commemorative coin of 2018 will celebrate the centennial of World War I. On January 17, 2018, the US Mint will be releasing the World War I Centennial Silver Dollars.
In the early 20th century, Europe had 2 defense alliances. If war were declared, then each member of their alliance would enter. The Triple Entente consisted of Britain, Ireland, France and Russia, while Germany and Austria-Hungary would form The Central Powers. World War I began on July 28, 1914 with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a member of a Serbian Terrorist Group called “The Black Hand”. Austria-Hungary would declare war on Serbia. Germany would join Austria-Hungary because of their alliance and would declare war on Russia because Russia sided with Serbia. By August 3, Germany would declare war on France being allies with Russia. When Germany went through Belgium to get to France, Britain would join the war since they had agreed to keep Belgium neutral. Italy originally sided with the Central Powers but would eventually declare war on Austria-Hungary and Germany. The United States tried to stay out of this war, but on May 7, 1915, a German submarine sunk the British Passenger ship Lusitania. Out of 1,959 passenger aboard the Lusitania, only 761 survived. With 128 American passengers killed, the people of the United States changed their views and wanted to declare war on Germany. With Germany declaring that any boats entering Britain would be sunk, President Woodrow Wilson realized that the war would not end peacefully, and on April 6, 1917, the United States entered the war. By 1918, many Germans were starving because there were British boats covering the German ports where most of the food was imported. On November 9, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm stepped down as Emperor of Germany and two days later, an Armistice was signed by both sides, ending the war.
Over 8,000,000 people were killed during World War I, also known as the Great War and the War to End All Wars. 2018 marks 100 years since the Armistice was signed and the US Mint will commemorate America’s involvement in this war with the Silver Dollar mentioned earlier and Medals commemorating each branch of the United States Armed Forces. Besides releasing the uncirculated and proof Silver Dollars, the mint will also release the Dollar coin in sets with one of 5 medals commemorating the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Service and Coast Guard. As of now, the mint plans to produce 350,000 dollars and 100,000 of each set. The US Mint also released this video on the new commemorative.