I previously discussed the potential disaster (for collectors) that could have resulted from the original coin bill introduced in the House for the Long Island Tercentenary - you can read it here: 1936 Long Island Tercentenary - House vs. Senate
. (I recommend a quick review of that post as the present one builds upon it vs. being fully standalone.)
In that discussion, I applauded the Senate (mostly its Committee on Banking and Currency) for stepping in, replacing the original bill's open-ended language and ensuring that a responsible, more collector-friendly bill made its way through Congress and to the President's desk for signature. It was certainly a move that deserved applause!
I return to the Long Island Tercentenary half dollar discussion here to complete the House vs. Senate Discussion. The House bill that was amended by the Senate Committee was not the only Long Island coin bill introduced in Congress. A companion bill to the original House bill was introduced in the Senate 10 days later.
Being a companion bill, the Senate bill included the same open-ended provisions as the House bill and would likely have been subject to amendment if it had moved forward. (Apparently even Senators were uninformed about or simply ignored the commemorative coin bill guidelines established by the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency a year earlier.)
The Senate bill was introduced by Senator Royal Samuel Copeland (D-NY) and was immediately referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency. As the House Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures had acted quickly and had already reported the House bill by the time the Senate bill was introduced, the Senate Committee held the Senate bill while it waited to see what action the Whole House would take on its Long Island coin bill. As per the Committee recommendation, the House passed its bill without amendment and sent it to the Senate for consideration - it was immediately referred to Committee.
The Senate Committee decided to amend the House bill (as discussed in my previous post) and report it out vs. moving forward with the Senate bill (which would likely have been subject to the same changes). With this action, the Senate bill died and was never reported out or considered by the full Senate. The amended House bill, of course, successfully navigated Congress and became Public Law 74-517.
The US Mint struck 100,000 Long Island Tercentenary half dollars and the Tercentenary Committee was able to sell/distribute 81,773 of them - a better than average 81.8% of the total mintage!1936 Long Island Tercentenary Half Dollar
For more on the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency guidelines referenced above, see:
- Quick Bits #44 - Senate Committee On Banking And Currency
For more of my topics on commemorative coins and medals, including more about the Long Island half dollar, see: Commems Collection