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Alabama centennial half dollar commemorative obverse.jpg

The Alabama Centennial half dollar is a commemorative fifty-cent coin struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1921 as a belated acknowledgement of the 100th anniversary of Alabama's admission to the Union in 1819. The half dollar was created by Laura Gardin Fraser, who became the first woman designer of a coin. Alabama Congressman Lilius Bratton Rainey introduced authorizing at the request of the state's centennial commission. The bill moved quickly through the legislative process and became law on May 10, 1920. The sponsors of the issue chose to depict William Bibb, the State of Alabama's first governor, and Thomas Kilby, its governor at the time of the centennial, thus making Governor Kilby the first living person to appear on a U.S. coin. They were issued in October 1921, and to boost sales, a symbol, 2X2, was included in the design for a minority of the coins; these are generally more expensive today. (Full article...)