Another peek into the history of the US classic commemorative coin series...
The bill that was ultimately approved for the 1936 Long Island Tercentenary commemorative half dollar was an example of the Senate stepping in to ensure that an approved coinage bill was not vague and open to potential abuse by its sponsor (the Long Island Tercentenary Committee).
The Long Island bill was introduced in the House on February 20, 1936; it was passed by the House via unanimous consent two weeks later on March 6th.
As originally drafted, the bill would have allowed for an unlimited number of Long Island coins to be struck at multiple Mint facilities (a minimum
of 100,000 coins were to be struck) across multiple years, and without a minimum order required. Trouble! The coin had the potential to follow in the footsteps of multi-year/multi-mint coin programs such as those for the Oregon Trail Memorial, the Texas Centennial, the Daniel Boone Bicentennial and Arkansas Statehood Centennial.
When the House-passed bill was reviewed by the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, these red flags were identified and recommended corrections were offered. Namely, the Committee indicated that the minting of the coin should be limited to a single Mint facility, that a maximum
of 100,000 coins be authorized, that all coins be struck within one year of the bill's enactment and that the coins be dated with the year in which they were authorized (not struck!). The Committee also recommended a minimum order of 5,000 coins.
All of these recommendations were included in a substitute bill that was introduced in the Senate as an amendment to the House bill (i.e., a complete replacement of the core of the House bill); the amended bill took the Committee's recommendation regarding dating one step further and specified a date of "1936". The amendment was proposed and passed in the Senate on March 27th. The House soon concurred with the Senate amendment and the revised bill was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 13, 1936.
I'm glad the Senate Committee took action on the original vague bill - another multi-year commemorative program was not something collectors of the day were wanting!Read More: Commems Collection