Today, the Peace Silver Dollar Coin remembers the vehicular destruction of the World War I monument and the doughboy’s revenge in the early hours of November 17, 1927.
Mount Pleasant, a borough in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, is located 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh with less than 4,500 people as of the 2010 census.
The industry in the area included an extensive coke-making industry with other products such as flour, lumber, iron, glass, foundry products, etc.
After World War I, the people in this small area contributed funds to build a monument to the people of the area who served in the war and the many who did not return.
This monument, a doughboy, stands proud today but has endured at least two major repairs, the first of which occurred after an accident 90 years ago.
From the Pittsburgh Press newspaper:
The Doughboy said “they shall not pass”— and proved it.
Special to the Press.
Mt. Pleasant, PA, Nov. 17 .
Three years and six days after it was dedicated this little town’s memorial to its war dead, a “doughboy” of heroic stature atop a granite shaft, lies splintered while crowds much larger than those witnessing the unveiling look curiously on.
In the village jail is Lester Duncan, who drove a Buick roadster up the hill at the top of which the $8,000 memorial stood until 4 o’clock this morning, but who must have been thinking of the cry that was heard around the world, “They shall not pass!” when he plunged his car at breakneck speed, officers say, into the shaft and lay for two hours unconscious at the base of the broken memorial.
Beside the silent autoist and more badly broken lay the “doughboy” but in pieces and beyond recognition.
A marble base six feet square and weighing many tons was moved three inches out of line, straight ahead.
A granite shaft mounted on this base, 18 inches in diameter, was plunged to the street and broken in many pieces.
“The doughboy” who had stood atop the shaft for four years through wind and storm lay prone on his face, his nose mashed like a prize fighter’s, but in an inglorious pose for such a hero.
Crowds have stood in the rain since early morning gazing on the memorial everyone in this country neighborhood had contributed to.
They didn’t believe anyone could pass the doughboy, but Duncan and his car proved that the hero could at least be moved from his 24-hour sentry post.
The general appearance of the car in Duncan rode proves that the “doughboy” made good his cry “they shall not pass.”
He didn’t let Duncan get very far and knocked him as cold as the Kaiser’s feet just before Wilhelm started that memorable hike to Holland.
Doctors say Duncan’s appearance also looks like the “doughboy” in the street did as good a job on Duncan as he did on Heine “over there.”
The Peace Silver Dollar Coin shows with an image of the current doughboy monument in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.