WASHINGTON — The United States Mint announced today that it will begin taking orders for the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation 50th Anniversary Silver Dollar at 12:00 noon (ET) on May 15, 2007.
Public Law 109–146, dated December 22, 2005, authorizes the United States Mint to mint and issue 500,000 silver dollar coins to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.
A surcharge of $10 per coin is authorized to be paid to the Secretary of the Interior for the protection, preservation, and interpretation of resources and stories associated with Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, including site improvements; development of interpretive and education programs and historic preservation projects; and the establishment of cooperative agreements to preserve or restore the historic character of the Park Street and Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive corridors adjacent to the site.
In the landmark 1954 decision of Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court declared racial segregation in the public schools of the United States unconstitutional, culminating in the historic events at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas in 1957.
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 the feet of students escorted by a United States soldier and walking toward school below a row of 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) of the silver dollar, designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart, depicts Little Rock Central High School, circa 1957. Designated a National Historic Site in 1998, the impressive structure still operates as an educational institution, dedicated to preparing today’s children to be tomorrow’s leaders.
The proof silver dollar coin is available for the introductory price of $35, and the uncirculated silver dollar coin for $33, through 12:00 noon (ET) June 13, 2007. Thereafter, the proof silver dollar coin will be $39, and the uncirculated silver dollar coin will be $35. Shipping may take up to four weeks.
Also available is the Little Rock Coin &Medal Set with a limited–edition of 25,000 units for $40. This set includes the uncirculated silver dollar coin and the Little Rock Nine 1½ inch bronze medal, which honored their selfless heroism during the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. The obverse of the medal features the students being escorted up the steps of Little Rock Central High School by United States soldiers. The names of each of the Little Rock Nine appear on the reverse, as well as the words “Courage Bravery Justice Opportunity.” This product is expected to begin shipping in early Jun.
To ensure the broadest and fairest access to the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation 50th Anniversary Commemorative Silver Dollar products, a limit of 100 units each per household is in effect for the proof and uncirculated coin options and a limit of 10 units per household for the Coin &Medal Set during the first 30 days of these products’ releases. At the end of the initial 30–day period, and each 30–day period thereafter, the United States Mint will reevaluate this limit and either extend, adjust, or remove it.
Customers can order these products by using the United States Mint’s secure website, www.usmint.gov, or by calling 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers may order by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders.
Images of the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation 50th Anniversary Commemorative Silver Dollar Coins can be found on www.usmint.gov/mint_programs, by clicking on “Commemoratives.
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 funds for important causes. A portion of the price of these coins is a surcharge that is authorized to be paid to recipient organizations for projects that benefit the community. Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, the United States Mint has raised more than $460 million in surcharges for recipient organizations.