Trump: Why Did We Wait 100 Years to Mark a Centennial?

The president asks the tough questions.

Michael Reynolds/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Does Donald Trump know what defines a centennial? 

The question arose on Monday during a White House event commemorating the passage of a bill honoring the women’s suffrage movement. The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which directs the Treasury Department to mint up to 400,000 $1 silver coins celebrating the 19th Amendment, passed with unanimous consent in Congress and is one of the least controversial bills to land on the president’s desk.

But as Trump opened his mouth in an attempt to lavish praise on himself for the bill—on its own, an absurd moment—trouble quickly arrived. “I’m curious,” he asked from the Oval Office, “why wasn’t it done a long time ago? I guess the answer to that is because now I’m president, we get things done.”

Trump’s curiosity immediately called into question whether he understands how centennials work, as the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 and the coins will debut in January 2020. The bill’s lead sponsor and newly minted vocal supporter of the president, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), apparently was not available to help the president untangle the tricky, four-syllable word.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate