The Little Rock Commemorative Coin Set is a little known tribute to African American Coin History. The United States Mint 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, authorized 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 was 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.