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US Commemorative Coin Series: Quick Bits #81 - Dual Purpose Commemorative Coins

 
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 Posted 10/04/2022  07:58 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Most coin bills proposing classic-era commemorative coins were dedicated bills with a single purpose (e.g., colonial anniversary year, statehood anniversary year, city founding anniversary, etc.). There were, however, some that included two or more specified purposes in their titles. Following are the group of commemorative coins for which two or more commemorative purposes were identified in their respective enabling legislation. Note: I have not included coins that have their authorization embedded in a Act connected to a World's Fair/Exposition, as such bills, by their nature, have multiple purposes with most unrelated to the included commemorative coin.

In each of the Act titles listed below, I've added a number (in blue) to indicate the objectives of the bill/Act; these numbers did not appear in the original legislation.

1925 Stone Mountain Memorial

The Stone Mountain half dollar was the first commemorative coin program to feature multiple objectives. Its Act reads: "An Act To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the commencement on June 18, 1923, of the work of carving on Stone Mountain, in the State of Georgia, a monument to the valor of the soldiers of the South, which was the inspiration of their sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters in the Spanish-American and World Wars, and (2) in memory of Warren G. Harding, President of the United States of America, in whose administration the work was begun.

Of course, the Warren G. Harding reference did not make its way to the final coin. (See 1925 Stone Mountain Memorial - President Harding Removed for more on this topic.



1926-39 Oregon Trail Memorial

The long title of the Oregon Trail half dollar includes several objectives: "An Act To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the heroism of the fathers and mothers who traversed the Oregon Trail to the Far West with great hardship, daring, and loss of life, which not only resulted in adding new States to the Union but earned a well-deserved and imperishable fame for the pioneers; (2) to honor the twenty thousand dead that lie buried in unknown graves along two thousand miles of that great highway of history; (3) to rescue the various important points along the old trail from oblivion; and (4) to commemorate by suitable monuments, memorial or otherwise, the tragic events associated with that emigration-erecting them either along the trail itself or elsewhere, in localities appropriate for the purpose, including the city of Washington.




1927 Battle of Bennington / Vermont Independence Sesquicentennial

The title of the Bennington / Vermont Independence half dollar Act reads: "An Act To authorize the coinage of silver 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Bennington and (2) the independence of Vermont..." Clearly, a dual purpose commemorative coin!




1928 Hawaiian (European) Discovery Sesquicentennial

The title of the Hawaiian Sesquicentennial half dollar Act reads: "An Act To authorize the coinage of silver 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook, and (2) for the purpose of aiding in establishing a Captain James Cook memorial collection in the archives of the Territory of Hawaii.




1934-38 Texas Independence Centennial

The title of the Texas Centennial half dollar reads: "To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary in 1936 of the independence of Texas, and (2) of the noble and heroic sacrifices of her pioneers, whose revered memory has been an inspiration to her sons and daughters during the past century.




1936 Elgin, IL Centennial

Though related, the Elgin legislation had two distinct purposes, its Act reads: "To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the city of Elgin, Illinois, and (2) the erection of a heroic Pioneer Memorial."





1936 Norfolk, VA Bicentennial / Tricentennial

The 1936 Norfolk half dollar is possibly the most obvious of the multi-objective coins - its obverse highlights the 200th anniversary of the Borough of Norfolk, while its reverse prominently presents notice of Norfolk's land grant in 1636. The coin's Act reads: "To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the original Norfolk (Virginia) land grant and (2) the two-hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the city of Norfolk, Virginia, as a borough.




1937 Roanoke Colony Memorial

The Roanoke half dollar commemorates two related but independent events. The coin's Act reads: "To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Sir Walter Raleigh's colony on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, known in history as the Lost Colony, and (2) the birth of Virginia Dare, the first child of English parentage to be born on the American continent.




1951-54 George Washington Carver - Booker T. Washington
Due to the George Washington Carver - Booker T. Washington half dollar being the result of an amendment to the original Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial Act, it is necessary go beyond the title of GWC-BTW Act to read "That in order to commemorate the lives and perpetuate the ideals and teachings of (1) Booker T. Washington and (2) George Washington Carver, two great Americans." in its body. Funds from coin sales went to support the BTW Birthplace Memorial in Virginia and the GWC Monument in Missouri.




HONORABLE MENTION

1925 Battle of Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial
The 1925 Battle of Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial Half Dollar appears to be an obvious "dual purpose" commemorative half dollar as it simultaneously commemorates the 1775 events that took place in Lexington and Concord, two separate towns in Massachusetts - it even dedicates a side to each. History links the two so closely, however, that the battles are generally thought of as "one." The coin's Act, from a Joint Resolution that established a US Commission for the anniversary, refers to the events as: "...the Battle of Lexington and Concord..." in the singular vs. plural. In deference to those living in each town, who I'm sure are proud of their town's individual history, I include the coin here.




Did I get 'em all?

For more of my topics on commemorative coins and medals, including more on the history and design of each of the half dollars presented here, see: Commems Collection.




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
10/04/2022 08:01 am
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 Posted 10/04/2022  08:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting angle, thanks!
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 Posted 10/04/2022  8:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Tremendous post commems - I submit there is not another person in the world who has the knowledge to write such a thread.

As such - your contributions remain unprecedented in their variety and depth. We as CCF members remain grateful to you indeed.


Quote:
Did I get 'em all?


Recognizing your interest in leaving the door open to us novices - I say there are likely one or more that you failed to mention out of respect to leave space for us to contribute.

That said - I do not have a clue or the time to perform the necessary research.

edit for spllenging
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
Edited by nickelsearcher
10/04/2022 8:06 pm
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 Posted 10/06/2022  10:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Recognizing your interest in leaving the door open to us novices - I say there are likely one or more that you failed to mention out of respect to leave space for us to contribute.

I can't believe you would even suggest such a thing!

Two other classic-era commemorative coins do come to mind, however, and both are "courtesy" of Thomas G. Melish. I kept them off my original list, due to my belief that the altruistic objectives for each were more notional vs. actual.

1936 Cincinnati, OH Music Center Anniversary
The Act that authorized the striking of the 1936 Cincinnati Half Dollar includes two objectives for the coin, it states: "To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces (1) in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Cincinnati, Ohio, as a center of music, and (2) its contribution to the art of music for the past fifty years." One objective recognizes the City, the other (theoretically), its identified music-related activities.

The Act did not include any reference, however, to any specific actions to be taken by the coin's sponsor - the Cincinnati Musical Center Commemorative Coin Association (of Cincinnati, OH) - to fulfill its objectives. It did make a few dollars for the Association's leader, Mr. Melish, however.




1936 Cleveland, OH Centennial / Great Lake Exposition
Though its enabling legislation suggests that it is officially connected to the Great Lakes Exposition, the 1936 Cleveland Half Dollar was separate from it. The Exposition Company was not involved with the coin, and none of its proceeds went to the Exposition organizers to support its staging.

The referenced bill/Act was dedicated specifically to the commemorative half dollar and listed two objectives for the coins it was seeking: "(1) in commemoration of the centennial anniversary in 1936 of the city of Cleveland, Ohio, to be known as the Great Lakes Exposition, and (2) to commemorate Cleveland's contribution to the industrial progress of the United States for the past one hundred years."

I'm not aware of any historical memorial/monument/marker/statue or other tangible reminder that was created by the Cleveland Centennial Commemorative Coin Association to address either of these objectives with funds derived from the coin's sales. As with the Cincinnati coin, it appears Mr. Melish was the primary beneficiary of the profits.






Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 10/06/2022  11:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I kept them off my original list, due to my belief that the altruistic objectives for each were more notional vs. actual.
An important distinction. Thank you for noting them here.
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 Posted 10/06/2022  10:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hokiefan_82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great write-up, commems! Very interesting and informative. Thanks!
My U.S. Type Set: https://www.NGCcoin.com/registry/co...sets/278808/
My U.S. Classic Commemorative Complete Set: https://www.NGCcoin.com/registry/co...sets/278741/
My 20th Century U.S. Type Set - Proofs only, No Gold https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/co...sets/396301/
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