OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT UNIIED STATES MINT

TREASURY DEPARTMENT

UNITED STATES MINT SERVICE PHILADELPHIA 30. PA.

}.Ui. 55 Eva li)..Ada.as, Dire@tor @f t.he 'Mitt\. ~iasbil'lgt.Qn,. D.C. 20220

In re.spoas.e to your telEtphone reqnest <>f .Apri 1'2/7, 1,64, 8lOlelosed a;,e Jft' ~ ~berts f a;n,d Mr. G3lsp&lT'O,t,8 recollections on: the prod~et:tGR or the Pr~tae'm:t.genRed,. 'bal£d.Ua.ro t:t b Wlderst.ood that thi~ is to bedireeted to the attentiQD of }fiss ~yd.en.

Enclosure

# --;t.. Jl - 6' 7"" ?

Y.?n~ r:

'The foJJ.ow1og .eek,15tb, Hia .Ad ~reques . "

proBO CD in h1.ngton to d1sCWlIl tho now Halt Dallardth her a.rd with othorTrooaury DopDrtmoDt ot~aJ.:a.

th 1d u ot trW atr1kos reco1v very favorable 00. :.ant,

however, ~ .of tha TraBBUl'Y Dillon via to have B. Kcnnedf'8 opinion and vuntedto ace at that time. On December 17th"

w' t II! Ken:nec.'ly and Attcwney General. Ro t ".. Mra. Kennedy

vAS r, YCIrably cas \11th the <1ea1gp. on both ides, o~ the. ooin bu.t

tolt It oUldbe 811 . ovomont 1.f the part in the hair I on the portre,i t"

WaB leDBpronouna t-o accents w r added. They aloe bad inw.nd

doa1gn shmling Il 1\1lltlgUre or hAlf !"igUre of the lato Prer:s1deut.

Thor was simply DOt enough. tim to areato nnw doslena and. mdelo. at approval.o, eto~alld .:va tho neIol coin in roduatioD: by J8.Il'l:Lci17, 1964.

I strongly advocated the simpll.olty anddireotnoas of a profile _ t BB being t bost PQ siblo.rrang.t for 8. bamlso, outatandill{J coin

whose boauty would endure tboreQQUld 1» no doubtaa to tho iden.tl ty

01' tho uubj CQt.

B. nn.eCb'" auegeations vGrEl! carried out on . h tel"hed1ate

size .and thor tr1al die wns 0 tor the obverso. w trial. otr1kes

vera ~par Secretary of tho 'b' lJ'Jr7 Dillon wsntal to this

BocoDd trialpioce and en 27th, I .;fltN tp eat Po.1m Beamb vller's

he 8ecretBl7 and .. D1UOn inspected tho tr1kOb. Th$y both felt

flat lh"a. Konnoa,-' w1s :J bad en co . with· in t :lr opWon,

t.b.o coin w.s v~ h8lldBO.:a, It. v decided to pr rith too;t up

fel". F,od ot1on. The' Cons;resaionaJ. Aa~,' author1z.1ng tha Kennedy HaJi

Dollor as approVed aenber 30, 1963. .

TiIl$ £aat runn.ing out aDd U' we did not have uorkinacl1o..a fOl:

Proot Ho.l.£ Dolla:r , the co1neJ.'" would b timlbl!! to .I)tart Proof' coin produotion wh10h ant that upuntll the tfma di0 were avaUabl. tldrtyor fU'tyoyc vould be iI.1tbout ark. ~ prOSBUr Br1iod to ptU!b. tb1 progr tbl"oughand by Je.nua.ry2, 1964,

Kennedy Half DOl.lo.r !TOOIf' dies wero deli.... our tr nondous .Proof

coin. oduot10l1 couldgototartad.So m1.nbr Iroblems etJ.ll ba.dto

ironed out for regu:lar6duotlon but byJAt\t.IDr;1 .30, .964, VeZ' bad

Bt.nned pt"Oduct1onot rsgulor H~ Doll aoinagoua;ing the nov deaign. •

. ,"""",,,..:;lJ» dUl"illg the .tOlla week. the FhUadQ1phiat ata.rted

. . rQ{IUlar l.lJl;r QO

·On Fe'brual7 ll. 1964, Assl.otant Seorewy of Trcaaur,r bor'b

WAllace, Dbeotolo of' the Hint Eva. I, Aeo1etant: Direotor 0 the lUllt

ed 'rata. Su intBrdcnt ot the H.tnt Mia 1 nnd other Tret1BUl"1

and 11nt ·ottiolal1JbeldceremDio3 concurren:tl7 at thoDon¥ at'ld Pb1l.lui0lpll1a. Minto to cOOl"ato thootr1k1ng at tb rurJ D. S. Ha.1.:t DoJ.J.ar bearing the late Preaident 1 a portrait andissu.ed by aeorrowin(J

nntion a titt~ and ur1na: l'a1. bonorlngou.r tor iTeafd ent ,

John. edy.

On 5, 1964,

~~on 0 t

Resc:rvo banku to tuaJ. 1e

poopla ot cur country-.

~~y-

T' ~ HALF llOLLAR ,(REV!@J!~) .-z;_,J(_~~

S lortly after President Kennedy's death, pll;W.s were being made to oreate a. lasting and a1gn:i.fioant ;menorial to his mC1i1ory.. Af'teraaraful consideration and various suggestions Dade throughout the nati~n, the final deoiaion vas· made by Congresa to make a 60in w1thtne lUte Presidentt portrait on the obverse and an app-ropr1te des:lgn em the reverse.

1'heHint reo.eived vol"d f:rom. theBurean that PraoidentKennedy's, portrait on the U. S. Mint-Presidential !m.\u6UT'a.l List I dal executed by Oill'oy Roberts and the PresidMilial Saal from the s-ama modal on the l"overee d.esigned by me, we~e to be used t:or the coin~ or cOUTse, with the neaes.sary wording reqn-ired for a ooin, ThiEl same Presidential Seal iooopporated in this medaJ. was personally selected by tho late ¥residant to be used £or the revorse of the 1961 Inaugural medal.

Since t1m~1 \las lim1ted and we at thel l-iint had on band the Kennedy medaJ_ patterns, it waa possible to proceed with haste T.Jith tbis eoin-.. However 'I thelJOdela in plaster font had to be QQlls1derably lowersd 1n relief and the basin,. or background of these plasters had to have the corroct CUl'wture a.nd heights for coinage striking. The obverse and reverse lettering and b0'rdera lleQesoo.ry tor coinage had to be executed and baJ.anced for correot composition in rolatioo to the center not1:f."e.

While wait1n_g tor the final. decision f'l"On Congr'esB as to the denomination approved for eo inage, I nruie t.ilra-6 rQugh patterll8 1ncorpor t"ing, t.he qu~er "I bAlf dollar and thG dOIUar l.ettering. On l~ovot'lber 28, 196.3, va received offioial word at the Mint from 1He6

Eva Adans .. Di?:ector" to prepare our rJOdel·s for the Kennedy aJ.f Doll~ and tie 'began uur york tho same day J and on Doeember ~th 'We comploted our trial. diG",. At 9~OO • l: on December 13th we stI"llclt- our _'!rat trisJ. (pattern) pi,aces. Of couwse, oecllanioo.l dU"f5.lmUties 1n the way of production bad to be l~Q:rked out later in ds¥s to co .. The sane

d :Y" Doo$llber 13th. I boarded a jet plane for Washington. Dor C. to deliver the coine to Mlsa Adams,. who 1n turn submitted them via hr. Dillon, Secretary of the Tr-eafJ'UI'Y. to the lhito House and President Johnson.

AB to my' experielloos with this reverse, I vas· .fortunate to have ll.W' design Rccepted by 1&>6 .. J10hn F. Kennedy_..th:e \yhite Hems and th Treasury Bureau.

~org on coins aro keenly sought by cain euthusiaelta and I had

to I:'J.ake very caref'ul .... hook of the hera.1dic symbols on the Presidential Seal" Tbe Ameriean eagle :in tnla, aea.1 mst hald thirteen arrows in

tha (v:tewer1) right claw; thirt.een leaves with thirteen g11ves in the brancb in the ( viENer IS) lei't claw. The eagle t a head is tWl1edto the (viat"e;r'a) left facing the olive branon.. Thirteen small stars are arrnnged behind the eagle t 6 head. ~be slrlold in the center covera the eag1a * s b~east and ~ aevsn vertioal stripos. Finally- t fifty etlll""S enoircla the center motif as in the of'f'icial residential Se e

This se~ vas the ouJ.m.1.Dat:ion o£ many' experiences wi tbthe study and executIon 0£ the Ameri._qan eagle in med.allic wQrk ..

Tbe l.11aOOW I used ill deGign~g 11._ IQmPQ~ition of tbe :r~v~se was pre.-pJ.,a.nned.. Deliberately J. sunk the eagle into the oockgrGtW.d 60 the, eirQle of tifty sta.:rsuound the eag1e fiLlld the herder let,tterlng appeaa"~ to radiate from tile cent,er motif. The liE Pluribus Um.ml" waG greatly enlarged1n tWmpariSQD totha offioial I7esldential Sea.! so that it could 00 easilY read by the nWred eye.

Before the coin was aecepta.bla~ ve had to JO.ake numerous steel T~tlGtiQn$ fl:'om l'nQ!flel to eo1n a1sG'. Finally" 'coinage produii)t:i.on

was begun a;t lHOOA. 11. an :Fe~ llt 1964 amiaat sTaat el(cftement at, tJIe PhilDdelpb:1a Mint .a.nd, thsD:enve't Mint e.:t.m.u1ta.n.eQuaJy.

X had the good fortune ~o be with }1j;s.fP Eva Mams" Mr .. Willafille, Assistant Sncretary o-f the Treasury, )(r__ Sura, Superintendent of the Philadelphia Mint. ·other d1gn1tuies, TV~a.s; newsreel photographers and newspaper caI:ler~~ ~ti.s.a Ada.t.na gave the sign.al tor t;h~ Pbi1a.delpbia Mint and 'lfbe Denver Mlnt (~ telephone) tQ proceed with the coinage p1"oouction of the Ke.n.nQQy 'all' Dollal" O'n Q" daily twel'lty.,..tour hour baa11l.

, .

. ~(:'

I "1

I ~ ...~, r oj '1 • r \ ....... \ ~ I ,i\

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful