The Wisconsin Territorial Centennial half dollar was designed by David
Parsons and Benjamin Hawkins and minted by the United States Bureau of
the Mint in 1936. The obverse (pictured) depicts a pick axe and lead
ore, referring to the lead mining in early Wisconsin; the reverse
depicts a badger and the territorial seal. Organizers of the territorial
centennial celebration sought a commemorative half dollar as a
fundraiser; newly issued United States commemorative coins at this time
found a ready market from collectors and speculators. Accordingly,
legislation was introduced by Senator Robert M. La Follette Jr., which
passed Congress without opposition. When initial designs by Parsons were
rejected by the Commission of Fine Arts, Hawkins was hired. He executed
the designs, though Parsons was also given credit. A total of 25,000
pieces were coined for public sale in July 1936. Sales were weak and
the coins were vended by the Wisconsin Historical Society until the late
1950s. The coins catalog for up to $250.
Today's selected anniversaries:
A fissure opened in a cornfield in the Mexican state of
Michoacán and continued to erupt for nine years, forming the cinder
cone Parícutin (pictured).
The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted to secede from
Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.
Appearing on the talk show Larry King Live, U.S. industrialist
Ross Perot announced that he would begin a presidential campaign if
"ordinary people" wanted him to run for office.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. A grandmother.
2. An elderly woman.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the
slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them,
only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my
experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express
my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon
to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon
a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of
contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the
one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion.
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