The Washington / Carver commemorative half dollar, produced from 1951 to 1954, is the second coin designed by Isaac Scott Hathaway, the first African American to design a United States coin. The first of Hathaway’s coin designs was the Booker T. Washington commemorative half dollar, first released in 1946.
The Washington / Carver half dollar was designed to honor Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to presidents of the United States. For much of the late 19th century and early 20th century, Washington was a prominent leader in the African American community.
George Washington Carver was an American botanist and inventor born into slavery in Missouri sometime in the early 1860s, although his exact date of birth is unknown. He died in Tuskegee, Alabama on January 5, 1943. Carver’s reputation is based in large part on his passion for promoting alternative crops to cotton, such as sweet potatoes and peanuts. His desire was for poor farmers to grow alternative crops as a source of their own food as well as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. Working at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, Carver taught former slaves farming techniques for self-sufficiency. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes that used peanuts. Carver also created or disseminated about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin. Carver received numerous honors for his work, including the NAACP’s prestigious Spingarn Medal, awarded annually by the NAACP for outstanding acheivement by an African American.
Your Washington / Carver commemorative silver half dollar coins will be in either uncirculated or lightly circulated condition, and may exhibit various degrees of toning. Order one of these historically important coins today!