Last week, the US Mint presented the design for the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar. The coin commemorates the first challenge by a state to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education ordering the desegregation of public schools. The nine students at the center of the showdown at Little Rock Central High School is being honored on this commemorative.
The obverse “features a simple, yet powerful design depicting students, accompanied by an armed United States soldier, walking to school.’ The soldier was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. The “Screaming Eagles” was called in by President Dwight Eisenhower to protect the students when Governor Orval Faubus refused to allow the Arkansas National Guard to provide protection in defiance of the federal order. The obverse design includes nine stars representing the nine students known as the Little Rock Nine trying to attend Central High School.
The reverse depicts the Little Rock Central High School as it looked in 1957. Little Rock Central High School was designated a National Historic Site in 1998 and continues to operate as a high school in the Little Rock public school system.
The obverse of this coin was designed by Richard Masters, a Master Designer with the Artistic Infusion Program. US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers sculpted the design. The reverse was designed and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. It is a powerful design that is fitting for this anniversary. It may be one of the few commemoratives I may buy.
Images are from the United State Mint. Click any image to enlarge.