The U.S. Mint was the first building authorized by the government, during Washington's first term. The present edifice, diagonally across from Liberty Bell Pavilion, turns out about 1.5 million coins every hour. Free, self-guided, unreserved tours are available to the public, allowing regular folk to see coins in production -- and to go home with a plastic goodie bag of shredded bills and some knowledge of our country's storied history of moolah. A visit should take about 45 minutes, and all this information will change if Homeland Security deems it necessary.