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Commems Collection: What If? 1936 Hartford, CT Half Dollar

 
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 Posted 05/16/2014  9:50 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In May 1936, during the 74th Congress, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that called for the striking of 25,000 silver half dollars marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of Hartford, Connecticut. The bill was introduced by Mr. Herman Koppleman (D-CT) on behalf of its sponsor - the Hartford Connecticut Tercentenary Commission.

It would appear that Connecticut's capital city was looking to "capitalize" (pun most definitely intended!) on the success of the Connecticut Tercentenary half dollar bill that was approved in 1934 for the state's 300th anniversary in 1935.

Hartford was founded in 1636 by Rev. Thomas Hooker, an Englishman, who led his congregation from present-day Cambridge, Massachusetts to the area; about 100 Puritans made the trip. Hooker and his group were not the first Europeans to arrive at the site, however, as the Dutch had founded a trading post there in 1623 - they called it "House of Hope." When Hooker arrived, the area was inhabited by the Saukiog, a tribe of Native Americans. Land for the town was purchased from the Saukiog and was originally called Newtown by Hooker's group. It was renamed as Hartford (after Hertford, England) in 1637.

Though the coin bill was clearly promoting a very local event, the House Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures recommended that the bill pass. This is not all that surprising considering other "local" coin bills that had been introduced and passed during the same timeframe - the City of Hudson, NY coin; the York County, Maine coin and the Long Island half dollar are just three examples.

The Senate took a different view of the bill, however, and amended it such that it proposed a commemorative medal rather than a 50-cent piece. In its report, the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency presented its view on the appropriate vehicle for the commemoration of local events - medals - and cited the views of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who also favored commemorative medals over coins.

The House passed the original coin bill while the Senate passed its amended bill for a medal. It does not appear the Hartford Commission was interested in having a medal struck, however, as the House did not take up consideration of the Senate's amended bill and let it die for lack of action. Had the Commission desired a medal, its passage in the House would likely have been a simple matter considering its earlier passage of the coin.

It's too bad the Hartford Commission didn't follow through on the offered commemorative medal. They may not have sold as many of them as they would have sold coins, but a medal celebrating the founding of what would become the state's capital and a half dollar marking the state's 300th anniversary would have made for a nice numismatic pairing!

Here's my example of the Connecticut Tercentenary half dollar.





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Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 05/16/2014  10:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jack jeckel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the great historical info.

That one is on my list along with the Cleveland commem as my next "big dollar" purchases.
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 Posted 05/16/2014  11:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add srcliff to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Having grown up in ct and having a lot of family history here id love to own one of those.
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 Posted 05/17/2014  09:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NathanASE to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As always, a great write up!! Thanks for that, I hadn't heard of that before...
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 Posted 05/17/2014  09:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One other point:
The Connecticut Charter was hidden in a hole in the tree so that the British could
not take it back. It was never found. CT survived.
They don't call us the Constitution State for nothing!
Brother, can you spare a "BARBER" dime?
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 Posted 05/17/2014  8:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Many thanks again commems for sharing your research and knowledge.


Quote:
It's too bad the Hartford Commission didn't follow through on the offered commemorative medal


I suppose should the Hartford leaders chosen to follow through ... then we would have today two authorized commemorative medals ... the 1925 Norse and this example.

A shame nothing came of this ... but understandable in hindsight recognizing the commemorative abuses taking place in 1936.

When is the book due?

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 05/17/2014  9:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Not Mint to Be to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You have to love that Oak tree. When the State Quarters came out I got one with the Oak tree and didn't even have to look to see what state it was from. I knew it was Conn.
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 Posted 05/18/2014  12:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Truly a missed opportunity. I have found recent appreciation for mint issued commemorative medals, thanks in part to your contributions.
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 Posted 05/18/2014  12:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
One other point:
The Connecticut Charter was hidden in a hole in the tree so that the British could
not take it back. It was never found. CT survived.
They don't call us the Constitution State for nothing!


Not to be a nit, but the Connecticut Charter and the famous Charter Oak are not the story behind how Connecticut came to be known as the "Constitution State."

It was a result of a document called the Fundamental Orders that was adopted in 1639 by the Connecticut towns of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield. It was a document that outlined how the towns would cooperate and govern themselves. A key component of the document was the provision that the people would freely elect those that would govern them vs. having such authority rest in a monarch or foreign nation. A very democratic concept at a time when such thinking was far from the norm!

Thomas Hooker had a role in the development of the Orders, and is known to have opened the session that adopted them with the now famous line "the foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people." Many view the Orders as the first governing document of its type and as a forerunner to the US Constitution. It is based on this that Connecticut's General Assembly adopted the "Constitution State" nickname in 1959.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
05/18/2014 11:34 am
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 Posted 05/18/2014  11:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I suppose should the Hartford leaders chosen to follow through ... then we would have today two authorized commemorative medals ... the 1925 Norse and this example.

There's actually quite a few commemorative medals that have been authorized by Congress for private sponsors via the same model as used for the coins. Some of these sponsors originally sought a coin and "settled" for a medal, others looked for a medal right from the start.

The Norse is so well known to commemorative coin collectors partly thanks to early Wayte Raymond coin boards that included it. It was the only such medal Mr. Raymond chose to include in his boards, so the Norse remains the most sought after piece by commemorative coin collectors.

If you'd like to read more about Wayte Raymond's coin boards, here's a link to one of my earlier posts: https://www.coincommunity.com/forum...IC_ID=135090.




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 05/18/2014  1:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Not Mint to Be to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
While we are talking about the Norse. Is there a reason why it was 8 sided? Would the Hartford medal have been 8 sided also had they gone the medal route?
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 Posted 05/18/2014  2:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My nits have been picked.
Nasty bugs they are.
Still, the Charter and the Oak Tree are connected, however erroneously.
True, the origin may have been different, but those articles faced falling into British hands. Hiding them in the tree preserved those Articles.
Your humble servant requests forgiveness.

Brother, can you spare a "BARBER" dime?
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 Posted 05/18/2014  8:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
There's actually quite a few commemorative medals that have been authorized by Congress for private sponsors via the same model as used for the coins. Some of these sponsors originally sought a coin and "settled" for a medal, others looked for a medal right from the start.


I should have know that commems ... what makes your posts so informative is the depth of your research and acquired knowledge.



Looking forward someday to the history behind US mint issued medals.

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 05/22/2014  12:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
While we are talking about the Norse. Is there a reason why it was 8 sided? Would the Hartford medal have been 8 sided also had they gone the medal route?

I've written before about how Representative O.J. Kvale originally sought a coin to mark the Norse-American Centennial. After learning about the opposition he would face for such a coin from the Treasury Department, however, he changed course and went after a medal. Anthony Swiatek has written that during a meeting with the Treasury and Mint to discuss the medal, Kvale was told he would still face opposition if a round, coin-sized medal was sought. The Mint suggested a larger format medal be struck.

For some reason, Kvale brought his son to the meeting and it was he who suggested that a hexagonal or octagonal medal be struck. The idea worked for the Treasury and Mint and resulted in the familiar octagonal Norse medals.

In the case of the Hartford medal, I believe it would have been a round medal based on other medals being struck by the Mint at the time. The Norse was an exception.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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