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L. W. Hoffecker, who proposed making the coin
L. W. Hoffecker

The Gadsden Purchase half dollar was a proposed commemorative coin to be issued by the United States Bureau of the Mint. El Paso coin dealer L. W. Hoffecker (pictured) wanted a coin issued he could control and distribute. He gained the support of several members of Congress, and a bill was introduced. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon sent a letter and two officials in opposition to the bill at its committee hearing, but it passed both houses of Congress without dissent. On April 21, 1930, President Herbert Hoover vetoed the bill, deeming commemorative coins abusive; the House of Representatives sustained his veto. No commemorative coins were struck during the remainder of the Hoover administration, and although they began again after Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated, in 1938, Roosevelt vetoed one, citing Hoover's action, as would Truman and Eisenhower. No commemorative coins were struck from 1955 until after the Treasury Department changed its position in 1981. (Full article...)