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Barack Obama: A Duke Ellington for modern times -- By Garrison Keillor
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Tony Bennett and Paul Ellington at The Morrison Hotel Gallery, in New York City for the preview of "In Session" on July 17, 2008.
Paul Ellington, left, grandson of Duke Ellington and leader of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, actress Lynn Whitfield, star of The Josephine Baker Story, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker view movie poster stamps honoring vintage black cinema during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Newark Museum on July 16, 2008.
WASHINGTON - The United States Mint launched a new coin Tuesday featuring jazz legend Duke Ellington, making him the first African-American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin.
Ellington, the composer of classics including "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" appears on the "tails" side of the new D.C. quarter. George Washington is on the "heads" side, as is usual with U.S. quarters.
The coin was issued to celebrate Ellington's birthplace, the District of Columbia.
U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy introduced the new coin at a news conference Tuesday at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Duke Ellington Quarter