The 2007 Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar was the second of two US Mint commemorative coin series. Arkansas' Little Rock Central High School desegregated 50 years ago.
The Little Rock Commemorative Coin Act, also known as Public Law 109-146, was the legislation that gave the go-ahead for the production of these coins.
"In 1957, Little Rock Central High was the site of the first major national test for the implementation of the historic decision of the United States Supreme Court in Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka." Congress used this important event to explain the significance of the site in the Act.
Reminiscent of the "Little Rock Nine"—the youngsters who initially tested the integration of the school—the obverse of each silver dollar depicts the legs of a group of children being led to class by a soldier.
Inscriptions reading "DESEGRADATION IN EDUCATION," "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST," and 2007 surround the artwork, which has nine stars representing those pupils. Charles Vickers, a sculptor-engraver for the US Mint, and Richard Masters, a master designer for the Artistic Infusion Program, were the minds behind its creation.
The reverse side of the coin has a picture of the desegregation experiment's test site, as it looked around 1957. It has the inscriptions of LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, ONE DOLLAR, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and was created by Don Everhart, a sculptor and engraver for the United States Mint.
These strike sales surcharges went to the "Secretary of the Interior to safeguard, preserve, and interpret Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site resources and stories.
The authorizing Act calls for site improvements at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, interpretive and education programs, historic preservation projects, and cooperative agreements to preserve or restore the Park Street and Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive corridors adjacent to the site.