This commemorative Silver half dollar was minted for the 1936 Arkansas Centennial. Joseph Robinson, former governor and senator from Arkansas, appears on the obverse and is one of only four men to appear on a U.S. coin while living.
Robinson took office as Governor of Arkansas on January 15, 1913, but served just 55 days. The death of Arkansas Senator Jefferson Davis left a vacancy, and the legislature elected for Robinson to take his seat, effective March 4, 1913. From the beginning, Robinson impressed other senators with his speeches, passion for detail and killer instincts in debate. He was a staunch supporter of President Woodrow Wilson and quickly gained influence throughout the Senate. He was Alfred Smith's choice for Vice President in the 1928 election, and after Smith lost to Herbert Hoover, Robinson had become a national figure for his impassioned speeches.
On July 14, 1937, Robinson died suddenly of heart failure, and thousands of mourners traveled to witness his lying-in-state ceremony. Arkansas's primary National Guard base and countless schools throughout northwestern Arkansas now bear his name.
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