WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Mint is announcing the designs approved by the Secretary of the Treasury that will be featured on a 2007 commemorative coin marking the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.
The obverse (heads side) of the silver dollar, designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Charles Vickers, depicts a group of children walking to school, escorted by an American soldier, with nine stars symbolizing the Little Rock Nine. In 1957, the Little Rock Nine were the first African American students to attend Little Rock Central High School.
The reverse (tails side) was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart, and depicts Little Rock Central High School, circa 1957.
Surcharges from the sale of these commemorative coins are authorized to be paid to the Secretary of the Interior for the protection, preservation and interpretation of resources and stories associated with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is available for a limited time.
As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price of these coins is a surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community. Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, the United States Mint has raised more than $418 million in surcharges for recipient groups.
Public Law 109–146, dated December 22, 2005, authorizes the United States Mint to produce 500,000 $1 silver coins to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. The coins are expected to go on sale during the Spring of 2007, and will be available in both proof and uncirculated conditions.
For images of the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar, please click here.