Post #8,000! Who woulda thunk it? Not me!
In February 1948, companion Joint Resolutions were introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives that called for 50-cent pieces to be struck "in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the termination of the War with Spain."
The Resolutions called for up to 250,000 half dollars to benefit the United Spanish War Veterans (USWV), a nation-wide organization of veterans of the War with Spain. The USWV, formed in 1904, was broader in its membership scope than just the Spanish-American War of 1898-99, it also included veterans of the Philippine-American War that followed it (1899-1902) and the Chinese Relief Expedition (aka, The Boxer Rebellion) of 1900-01. The focus of the bill, however, was specific to the termination of the Spanish-American War.
The bill was open-ended in terms of the Mint facilities that could be used - P/D/S Sets were a possibility. The Resolutions incorporated an uncommon provision, the coins could be struck only in 1948 and 1949 with the coins bearing the date of the year in which they were struck; no specific mintage numbers/limits were set for either year. This combination of provisions could have created a six-coin program - 1948 P/D/S and 1949 P/D/S - with either balanced or unbalanced annual mintages or even artificially-created scarcities! Per the Resolutions,
the coins could be sold by the Veterans at a premium, with net proceeds going toward supporting the planned 50th anniversary activities of the Veterans and, if funds remained, toward the organization's general support of its members; the Resolutions referenced the fact that the organization was then struggling financially. The struggle was likely due, at least in part, to the fact that a three-quarters majority of veterans from the war were deceased by 1948 and thus no longer dues-paying members. (The organization ceased in 1992 with the passing of its last veteran member.)
The Senate Resolution was introduced first, but the House Resolution followed just a few days later and saw more action from Congress. After being referred to the House Committee on Banking and Currency, it was included in a Committee Hearing in April 1948. At the Hearing, it became very clear that the funds generated from coin sales were to be used to keep the Washington Office of the USWV open vs. primarily being used to fund anniversary observances - this was stated openly by Roy Orchard Woodruff (R-MI), the Representative who introduced the House Joint Resolution.
The Hearing also included testimony by Lloyd Thurston, a former member of Congress and the then-current USWV chairman of the committee to observe the 50th anniversary of the Spanish-American War. It has to be among the most biased and factually inaccurate Committee testimonies I have ever read. His testimony alone would have made me take a position against the coin bill had I been a Committee member.
The Committee reported the Resolution favorably, however, and the House passed it without debate. The Resolution was sent to the Senate where it was immediately referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency. The Senate Committee never reported the Resolution out, however, and it ultimately died for lack of action.
All things considered - and my comment above notwithstanding - I think this coin proposal had merit and I wouldn't mind having a type coin of it in my collection. (Especially considering my fondness for the US-Philippines coinage series!)
For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, including more What If? stories, see: Commems Collection