FAMEPedia:Today's featured article/April 24, 2021

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Obverse
Obverse

The Old Spanish Trail half dollar was a commemorative coin struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1935. It was designed by L.W. Hoffecker, a coin dealer who had been the moving force behind the effort for a Gadsden Purchase half dollar, vetoed by President Herbert Hoover in 1930, and he sought another commemorative coin that he could control if authorizing legislation was passed. He chose the travels of Spanish officer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in the early 16th century. Though Hoffecker's hometown of El Paso, Texas, is featured on the coin, Cabeza de Vaca came nowhere near its site. Hoffecker purchased the coins from the Mint at face value and sold them to collectors, ostensibly on behalf of the local museum, but in fact for his personal profit, something he later denied before Congress. His design for the coin, featuring the head of a cow (the English meaning of cabeza de vaca), has brought mixed reviews from numismatic commentators. (Full article...)