Wednesday, July 8, 1998

New bond will
depict Matsunaga

His likeness will be
printed on the $10,000
inflation-indexed I-bond

By Pete Pichaske


WASHINGTON - One of a series of new inflation-indexed savings bonds unveiled here today will feature the face of former U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga.

Matsunaga, who died in 1990 after 28 years representing Hawaii in the House and Senate, will be featured on the $10,000 "I-Bond." It is the largest of the eight denominations of the new bonds, which will start at $50.

Each denomination will feature a different American. The Matsunaga bond will be available in May.

"The design of this new security gave us a rare opportunity to recognize distinguished individuals whose talent and dedication helped our nation make great strides in knowledge, the arts, civil rights and world peace," said Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Others featured on the bonds include Helen Keller, Gen. George Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Einstein.

Matsunaga, a member of the famed 100th Battalion during World War II, is credited with almost single-handedly persuading Congress to pass legislation to offer redress to the Japanese Americans interned during the war.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who succeeded Matsunaga in the Senate, called the bonds "a wonderful tribute for a true patriot.. . . Throughout his career, Sparky worked to ensure that all Americans enjoyed the fruits of liberty and understood our shared responsibilities for keeping our country free and strong."

The new I-Bonds will be adjusted every six months for inflation, a tactic Treasury officials hope will make them attractive to investors. The bonds will be exempt from state and local income taxes, and federal taxes can be deferred until the bond is redeemed or stops earning interest at 30 years.

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