The proposal for the 1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial Half Dollar was introduced in the Senate in January 1936, and was immediately referred to the Committee on Banking and Currency.
An interesting facet of the proposed legislation is the fact that its language indicated the coins were to be struck "in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the statehood of Wisconsin." Of course, the coin was meant to help mark the centennial of the Territory
of Wisconsin, not its statehood centennial anniversary (a date coming in 1948!).
The bill's provisions, however, ran counter to what the Committee on Banking and Currency strongly
recommended for commemorative coin bills. Namely, the bill allowed coins to be struck at multiple Mint facilities, did not require all coins struck to bear a single, specific date and did not specify an expiration date for coining authority. The coin's sponsor - Wisconsin Centennial Celebration - was to be allowed to order coins from the Mint in the amount(s) of its choosing at the times it chose. A multi-year, multi-Mint program was a clear possibility.
The Committee on Banking and Currency stepped in, however, and recommended its standard "Substitute Amendment" language that restricted each of these provision. The revision would result in a much more collector-friendly proposal.
By the time the updated bill was brought up for consideration in the Full Senate, its language had also been updated to reflect its intended purpose "commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Territorial Government of Wisconsin."
The Senate passed the amended bill without debate and sent it to the House for its consideration. The House reviewed the bill and only had one amendment it wished to make - it wanted the maximum mintage to be increased from 20,000 to 25,000. With that change incorporated, the House passed the bill without objection. The Senate concurred with the House amendment without debate, and the bill was sent to the President for approval. Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the bill into law on May 15, 1936.
Another potential wildcard
bill changed for the good and for the benefit of collectors!1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial Half Dollar
You can read more about the Wisconsin Territory Centennial half dollar here:
- 1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial
- 1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial - Revisited
- 1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial - Coins with Hands Thread
- 1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial - Coins with Flora ThreadNote: These earlier post use the prevalent thinking regarding obverse/reverse. The side specification included in this post is the official description per the Mint.
For other of my posts on commemorative coins and medals, see: Commems Collection.