BrianRxm Coin Stories 6/15
Monroe Doctrine 1923 Half Dollar
Hollywood film studio scandals and James Monroe's Doctrine
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The Coin:
 
United States Half Dollar 1923 Monroe
1. United States Half Dollar 1923-S - Monroe Doctrine Commemorative
 
Silver, 30mm, 12.55gm
 
Obverse:
Former presidents James Monroe and John Quincy Adams facing left.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HALF DOLLAR / IN GOD WE TRUST
MONROE-ADAMS / 1923-S
 
Reverse:
Stylized figures of women on continents North and South America
MONROE DOCTRINE CENTENNIAL / LOS ANGELES / 1823-1923
The Story:
 
These coins were manufactured to help fund the Los Angeles Monroe Doctrine Centennial Exposition
which was to be held in 1923.
 
The "Monroe Doctrine" was contained in President James Monroe's annual message to Congress on
December 2, 1823, which warned European nations against interfering with American or
Western Hemisphere nations.
 
By 1922, the Hollywood film industry was making silent films and was beset with various scandals.
 
Film director William Desmond Taylor was shot and killed, he reported kept underwear belonging to his
"conquests", two of whom, actresses Mabel Normand and teenage actress Mary Miles Minter became
suspects in the shooting, along with Minter's mother.
 
Actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was tried several times for rape and finally acquitted, and
there were many other film personalities involved in sexual or drug scandals, including some who
died from drug overdoses.
 
The film studios banded together to create an exposition or "world's fair" in Los Angeles, and
had this commemorative coin issued to promote the exposition.
 
The exposition organizers picked the 100th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine as the theme for the
coin as the coin needed the authorization of the United States Congress and a celebration of the
film industry would not get that.
 
The San Francisco Mint made 300,000 of these coins which were to be sold for $1.00 each.
Most were unsold and were then issued as circulation coins.
The coin's designer was accused of copying another artist's design.
The exposition was a financial failure.
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