[Daily article] April 30: Franklin half dollar

The Franklin half dollar coin was struck by the United States Mint from
1948 to 1963. It pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the
obverse, with the Liberty Bell and a small eagle on the reverse.
Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck
at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints. Mint director
Nellie Tayloe Ross had long admired Franklin, and asked the Mint’s chief
engraver, John Sinnock, to design the coin; his initials appear on the
obverse, but some mistook them for the initials of Soviet dictator
Joseph Stalin. When Ross submitted the designs to the Commission of Fine
Arts, they disliked the small eagle and felt that depicting the crack in
the Liberty Bell would expose the coinage to jokes and ridicule;
nevertheless, the Mint proceeded with Sinnock’s designs. Beginning in
1964 the coin was replaced by the Kennedy half dollar, issued in honor
of the assassinated President, John F. Kennedy. Though the coin is still
legal tender, its face value is greatly exceeded by its value to
collectors or as silver.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


King Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, granting
freedom of religion to the Huguenots.


Second World War: The Royal Navy submarine HMS Seraph began
Operation Mincemeat to deceive Germany about the upcoming invasion of


Sixteen monks and a nun belonging to Ananda Marga in Calcutta,
India, were dragged out of taxis by persons unknown in three different
locations, beaten to death and then set on fire.


A gunman went on a shooting spree at the Azerbaijan State Oil
Academy, a public university in Baku, killing 12 people before
committing suicide.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

Prevented by bad weather from doing something, such as travelling.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I
am to arrive at them.  
–Carl Friedrich Gauss

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