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Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar
United States
Value50 cents (0.50 USD)
Mass12.5 g
Diameter30.61 mm (1.20 in)
Thickness2.15 mm (0.08 in)
EdgeReeded
Composition
  • 90.0% silver
  • 10.0% copper
Silver0.36169 troy oz
Years of minting1923
Mint marksS (all coins). Located under date on obverse.
Obverse
Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar obverse.jpg
DesignConjoined heads of former presidents James Monroe and John Quincy Adams
DesignerChester Beach
Design date1923
Reverse
Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar reverse.jpg
DesignStylized figures representing North and South America touch at the Panama Canal.
DesignerChester Beach; resembling a design by Raphael Beck
Design date1923

The Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar was a fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint. Bearing portraits of former U.S. Presidents James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, the coin was issued in commemoration of the centennial of the Monroe Doctrine and was produced at the San Francisco Mint in 1923. Sculptor Chester Beach is credited with the design, although the reverse closely resembles an earlier work by Raphael Beck.

In 1922, the motion picture industry was faced with a number of scandals, including manslaughter charges against star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Although Arbuckle was eventually acquitted, motion picture executives sought ways of getting good publicity for Hollywood. One means was an exposition, to be held in Los Angeles in mid-1923. To induce Congress to issue a commemorative coin as a fundraiser for the fair, organizers associated the exposition with the 100th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine, and legislation for a commemorative half dollar for the centennial was passed.

The exposition was a financial failure. The coins did not sell well, and the bulk of the mintage of over 270,000 was released into circulation. Beach faced accusations of plagiarism because of the similarity of the reverse design to a work by Beck, though he and fellow sculptor James Earle Fraser denied any impropriety. Many of the pieces that had been sold at a premium and saved were spent during the Depression; most surviving coins show evidence of wear.

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Transcription

[ MUSIC ] >> THE YEAR THE WORLD CHANGED WAS 1914. IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF WORLD WAR I. BUT WHILE MOST OF EUROPE WAS CONCERNED AND CONSUMED BY THE GREAT WAR, ANOTHER EARTH SHATTERING EVENT OCCURRED FAR SOUTH AND WEST OF THE CONTINENT IN CONFLICT. THE PANAMA CANAL OPENED ITS LOCKS IN AUGUST OF 1914. FOR THE FIRST TIME, AN ALL WATER CHANNEL BISECTED THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, A DREAM OF MORE THAN 400 YEARS FINALLY HAVE BEEN REALIZED. [BACKGROUND MUSIC] IN 1502, ON HIS FOURTH VOYAGE TO THE NEW WORLD, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS SAILED FURIOUSLY AND OBSESSIVELY ALONG THE ATLANTIC COAST OF THE PANAMANIAN ISTHMUS SEARCHING IN VANE FOR A CENTRAL CONVENIENT WATERWAY TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLOBE. FAILING THIS MISSION, COLUMBUS SETTLED FOR BEING THE FIRST EUROPEAN TO CONDUCT WORLD TRADE IN PANAMA. HE EXCHANGED A FEW TRINKETS FOR SEVERAL SOLID GOLD CHEST PLATE SHIELDS WORN BY THE NATIVE PEOPLE. IN THE FOLLOWING DECADE, CONQUISTADOR VASCO BALBOA WAS STANDING ON A SUMMIT IN THE PANAMANIAN HILLS WHEN HE BECAME THE FIRST EUROPEAN TO VIEW BOTH THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC OCEANS AT THE SAME TIME. EMOTIONALLY OVERWHELMED, BALBOA FELL TO HIS KNEES WEEPING AND PRAYING IN TRIUMPHANT JOY. DURING THE GOLD RUSH OF 1849, THOUSANDS OF 49ERS JOURNEYED BY BOAT FROM THE AMERICAN EAST COAST TO PANAMA AND THEN CROSSED THE ISTHMUS TO BOARD SHIPS BOUND FOR SAN FRANCISCO. BECAUSE THE MIDDLE AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE AMERICAN FRONTIER WERE STILL LARGELY UNSETTLED AND OFTEN HAZARDOUS, THE RACE TO THE CALIFORNIA GOLD FIELDS WENT FASTEST THROUGH PANAMA. IN RESPONSE TO PROSPECTOR DEMAND, A RAILROAD WAS BUILT TO CROSS THE TREACHEROUS ISTHMUS IN THE 1850S. BY MID 1881, A FRENCH COMPANY BEGAN SUPERVISING A TRAGICALLY ILL-FATED PANAMA CANAL ENGINEERING EFFORT. THE PROJECT STALLED AFTER ENDURING 8 DEVASTATING YEARS OF TROPICAL DISEASES AND VARIOUS OTHER DISASTERS. ALL FUNDS WERE TOTALLY SPENT BY 1889. DURING CONSTRUCTION, AT LEAST 20,000 WORKERS WERE KILLED BY A COMBINATION OF MOSQUITO-BORNE MALARIA AND YELLOW FEVER, INTENSE RAINSTORMS, MAJOR MUDSLIDES AND INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS. FOR MANY YEARS, AMERICAN POLITICIANS HAD SOUGHT US AUTHORITY OVER ANY POTENTIAL CANAL WHICH WOULD TRANSECT CENTRAL AMERICA. THE MONROE DOCTRINE WAS OFTEN CITED WHENEVER AMERICAN DOMINANCE IN THE REGION WAS DISCUSSED OR ASSERTED. UNCLE SAM'S MACHINATIONS CULMINATED IN 1903 WHEN PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT USE GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY AGAINST COLOMBIA WHILE SUPPORTING A PANAMANIAN SEPARATIST MOVEMENT. ROOSEVELT'S SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY ULTIMATELY INVOLVED PURCHASING AMERICAN CONTROL OF THE ABANDONED FRENCH CONSTRUCTION VENTURE. SADLY, ANOTHER 5600 LABORERS PERISHED BY THE TIME THE CANAL WAS COMPLETED UNDER AMERICAN SUPERVISION IN 1914. >> THE CANAL BECOMES AN EXTENSION, SO THINKING ABOUT THE CANAL BECOMES AN EXTENSION OF THE MANIFEST DESTINY ARGUMENT, THAT IF THE UNITED STATES WAS DESTINED TO REACH THE PACIFIC AND THEN IT DID, IF THE UNITED STATES WAS BASED IN PART ON A GROWING SENSE OF ITSELF AS A MARITIME POWER AND IT WAS, THEN HOW WAS-- WERE THE ATLANTIC AND THE PACIFIC AND THE CARIBBEAN AND THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THESE OTHER AMERICAN RELATED WATERS TO BE CONNECTED WITH EACH OTHER. SO REALLY THE CANAL IS-- THE CANAL IS VERY DEEP IDEA IN AMERICAN CONSCIOUSNESS, THIS LINKING OF THE WATERS, POWERFUL THE WAY THAT THE LINKING OF THE CONTINENT IN OCTOBER 1869 WAS BY THE RAILROAD WHEN THE RAILROADS WERE COMPLETED. [ BACKGROUND MUSIC ] >> TODAY, THE TRADE WINDS BILLOWING THROUGH PANAMA ARE ONCE AGAIN BLOWING SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE WINDS OF CHANGE. THIS TIME, THE PANAMANIAN PEOPLE ARE IN CHARGE OF THEIR OWN DESTINY. THEY HAVE VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY TO EXPAND THE CANAL. THIS PROJECT WILL COST AN ESTIMATED 5 AND A QUARTER BILLION DOLLARS IN THE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING A MUCH LARGER THIRD SET OF LOCKS. THE NEW LOCKS WILL SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE SIZE OF SHIPS THAT CAN TRAVERSE THE CANAL. CURRENT PANAMAX SHIPS, MEANING THE MAXIMUM SIZE SHIPS THAT CAN TRANSIT THROUGH PANAMA ARE LIMITED TO FEWER THAN 4,500 TEUS OR ROUGHLY 2,250 40-FOOT LONG CONTAINERS. AFTER THE CANAL'S EXPANSION, SUPER SHIPS CARRYING 12,000 TEUS OR 6,000 40-FOOT CONTAINERS WILL BE ABLE TO TRANSIT THE CANAL. THE REPERCUSSIONS OF A LARGER PANAMA CANAL ARE ENORMOUS, NOT ONLY FOR PANAMA BUT FOR MOST PORTS IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. NEW POSSIBILITIES EXIST IN THIS LATEST METAPHORICAL GOLD RUSH. WHEN THE CANAL EXPANSION OPENS FOR BUSINESS IN THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF 2014, MUCH ABOUT GLOBAL LOGISTICS WILL HAVE CHANGED. >> IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT OVER A LONGER TERM, 40 YEARS AGO, TRADE WAS REALLY CONCENTRATED DOWN THE EAST COAST PORTS. AND SO WHAT HAPPENED IN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, THAT TRADE SHIFTED TO THE WEST COAST PORTS WITH THE OPENING UP OF THE ASIAN COUNTRIES YOU GOT THE TREMENDOUS GROWTH. NOW, PEOPLE ON THE GULF AND PEOPLE ON EAST COAST PORTS WANT A LITTLE BIT OF THE ACTION AND THE WAY THEY CAN GET THAT ACTION IS IN FACT IF THE CANAL IS WIDENED. [ BACKGROUND MUSIC ] >> FOR MORE THAN 3 DECADES, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BENEFITED FROM EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IN TRANSPACIFIC TRADE. A MASSIVE LOCAL CONSUMER MARKET ENCOURAGED INCOMING CARGO TRAFFIC, WHICH LED TO BOTH HARBOR AND WAREHOUSE FACILITIES EXPANSION. THESE DEVELOPMENTS RESULTED IN THE SAN PEDRO BAY EMERGING AS A CARGO DESTINATION OF CHOICE. LARGE VESSELS WITH HUGE LOADS COULD DOCK IN THE DEEP WATER OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH PORTS, WHILE GIGANTIC CRANES RAPIDLY MOVE THEIR CONTAINERS ON TO INTERMODAL TRUCKS AND TRAINS. WELL DEVELOPED RAIL ACCESS FROM THE HARBOR TO THE INTERIOR MEANT THAT FREIGHT BOUND FOR THE MIDWEST WAS TRANSPORTED ON DOUBLE STACK TRAINS FOR THE LONG JOURNEY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AFTER BECOMING THE BIGGEST AND THE BEST-EQUIPPED HARBOR COMPLEX, WITH THE CAPACITY AND THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO MOVE GOODS ON TO MAJOR RAIL SYSTEMS, THE SAN PEDRO BAY SETTLED INTO A PERIOD OF HEGEMONY. HOWEVER, EVEN WITHOUT THE EXPANSION OF THE PANAMA CANAL, NEW TRENDS ARE EMERGING THAT THREATENED TO SIPHON AWAY SIGNIFICANT CARGO TRAFFIC FROM THE POWERHOUSE PORTS OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH. IN THE CANADIAN NORTHWEST, THE PORT OF PRINCE RUPERT HAS BEEN EXPANDING ITS HANDLING CAPACITY AND ENJOYS AN ADVANTAGE BY BEING 700 NAUTICAL MILES CLOSER TO ASIA. THIS CLOSER PROXIMITY REDUCES OCEAN SHIPPING TIME BY A COUPLE OF DAYS. PRINCE RUPERT IS SERVED BY AN EXPRESS CANADIAN RAIL SYSTEM WHICH CAN DELIVER GOODS TO A CENTRAL POINT NORTH OF THE US BORDER WITH A DIRECT RAIL SHOT TO CHICAGO AND MEMPHIS. THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT IS FULLY BACKING AND PROMOTING PRINCE RUPERT AS PART OF AN ASIA PACIFIC GATEWAY AND CORRIDOR INITIATIVE. THIS EFFORT SEEKS TO ATTRACT AS MUCH CARGO AS POSSIBLE FOR THE EXPANDING CANADIAN FACILITIES. >> THE PORTS OF SEATTLE AND TACOMA ARE ALSO CLOSER TO ASIA AND ALSO DESIRE TO TAKE A LARGER SHARE OF THE CARGO FROM THE FAR EAST THAT'S DESTINED FOR DELIVERY BY RAIL TO THE MIDWEST. INVESTMENTS OF NEARLY A BILLION DOLLARS HAVE OCCURRED OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS TO IMPROVE THE SEATTLE AND TACOMA PORT INFRASTRUCTURES. MEXICO HAS BEEN DISCUSSED AS A PACIFIC COAST COMPETITOR IN THE FUTURE. AMONG THE PLANS AND DEVELOPMENT IS ONE TO UTILIZE THE PORT OF LAZARO CARDENAS IN CONNECTION WITH AN EXPRESS RAIL NETWORK TO TRANSPORT CONTAINERS DIRECTLY FROM MEXICO TO KANSAS CITY. >> WE KNOW THAT MOST BIG SHIPPERS WILL LOOK AT ALTERNATIVES. THEY WENT TO THE FOUR CORNERS APPROACH IN THE MID 2000S LOOKING AT A PACIFIC NORTHWEST, A PACIFIC SOUTHWEST, A GULF AND THE EAST COAST PORT TO TRY TO BALANCE THEIR CARGO FLOWS AND NOT JUST BE IN ONE PORT. >> THE EXPANSION OF THE PANAMA CANAL WILL ALLOW SHIPS TO TAKE [BACKGROUND MUSIC] SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER LOADS FROM EAST ASIA TO US GULF PORTS AND PORTS ON THE EASTERN SEABOARD. GULF PORTS IN HOUSTON, NEW ORLEANS, MOBILE, AND TAMPA NOW MAY LOOK MORE ATTRACTIVE TO SHIPPERS WHO DESIRE MULTIPLE REGIONAL CONCENTRATIONS OF WAREHOUSING ARRANGEMENTS. IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC SECTOR, HANJIN SHIPPING IS CONSTRUCTING A FACILITY IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA WHICH IS SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN 2013. PORT COMPLEXES IN SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA AND NORFOLK, VIRGINIA PRESENT POSSIBILITIES FOR EXPANDED OR ADDITIONAL ALL WATER ROUTES FROM EAST ASIA TO THE EAST COAST. OF THESE, VIRGINIA IS BEST EQUIPPED TO SERVICE THE LARGER SHIPS. OCEAN ROUTES THAT KEEP CONTAINERS ON VESSELS FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY REQUIRE MORE TIME BUT CAN SAVE HANDLING COST COMPARED TO SAIL AND RAIL COMBINATION ROUTES. COST REDUCTIONS CAN AMOUNT TO AS MUCH AS 1000 DOLLARS PER CONTAINER IF PATIENT SHIPPERS CAN AFFORD TO WAIT FOR LONGER DELIVERY TIMEFRAMES. THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY IS ALSO ANTICIPATING RECEIVING MORE CONTAINER SHIPS DIRECTLY FROM CHINA VIA THE PANAMA CANAL. A PROBLEM IN NEW YORK IS THE BAYONNE BRIDGE WHICH LIMITS THE HEIGHT OF VESSELS HEADING FOR CONTAINER TERMINALS IN NEW JERSEY. EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY TO DEEPEN THE CHANNEL AND TO RESOLVE THE BRIDGE DILEMMA. >> SO, THE WHOLE IDEA OF PUTTING THE DISCUSSION AROUND THE PANAMA CANAL IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT CAN VERY EASILY BE APPLIED TO A REGIONAL SCENARIO FOR THE EAST COAST IN THE UNITED STATES, THE ABILITY TO TAKE ON LARGER VESSELS, LONGER BERTH, STEEPER DRAFTS [PHONETIC], CAPACITY OF CRANES AND SUCH, IT'S GOING TO RESONATE ACROSS THE ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN AND HAVE A PARTICULAR IMPACT NOT ONLY ON THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES BUT THE GULF AS WELL. [ BACKGROUND MUSIC ] >> LARGE SHIPPERS WHO SEEK REGIONAL DIVERSIFICATION FOR WAREHOUSING MAY DECIDE TO INVEST IN SEVERAL POINTS OF DISEMBARKATION. THIS STRATEGY ENCOURAGES COMPETITION, LOWERS COSTS OVERALL, SPREADS RISKS AND PROVIDES INSURANCE AGAINST ANY MEGA-PORT ACQUIRING A CONTROLLING MONOPOLY ON GOODS MOVEMENT. RAIL DEVELOPMENT IS CRITICAL FOR ANY PORT TO GROW AND TO DISTRIBUTE DISCRETIONARY CARGO MORE THAN 400 MILES FROM THE WATERFRONT. WARREN BUFFETT'S BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY GROUP OWNS THE BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE RAILROAD KNOWN AS BNSF. BOTH UNION PACIFIC AND BNSF HAVE A LARGE STAKE IN THE WEST COAST INTERMODAL SYSTEM FOR INLAND CARGO DELIVERY. BNSF CLAIMS INTERMODAL TRAINS FROM THE WEST COAST CAN CUT AS MANY AS 9 DAYS OFF DELIVERY TIME TO THE EAST COAST COMPARED TO ALL WATER PANAMA CANAL ROUTES. >> JUST BECAUSE THE CANAL GETS EXPANDED DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT THE SHORTEST AND FASTEST SHIPPING ROUTES BETWEEN ASIA AND THE UNITED STATES IS BY THE WEST COAST. THAT'S AN UNDISPUTABLE FACT. AND AS SUCH, THE VAST MAJORITY OF FREIGHT THAT MOVES BETWEEN ASIA AND THE UNITED STATES HAS ALWAYS MOVED TO THE WEST COAST AND IT WILL ALWAYS MOVE TO THE WEST COAST. NOW, IT IS A FACT ALSO THAT THERE HAS BEEN A LITTLE BIT OF A SHEER SHIFT FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE EAST COAST OVER ROUGHLY THE LAST DECADE OR SO. BUT THAT HASN'T REALLY OCCURRED BECAUSE OF THE MARKET FUNDAMENTALS WHICH POTENTIALLY COULD BE AFFECTED BY THE EXPANSION OF THE CANAL. THE SHORT-- AGAIN, THE SHORTEST ROUTE AND THE FASTEST ROUTE WILL ALWAYS BE BY THE WEST COAST DESPITE WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE CANAL. [ BACKGROUND MUSIC ] >> EASTERN RAIL NETWORKS LACK THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO DELIVER FREIGHT ON A MASSIVE SCALE TO POINTS WEST, NORTH AND SOUTH. HOWEVER, SOME OF THE RECENT TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT GENERATING ECONOMIC RECOVERY GRANT KNOWN AS STIMULUS TIGER GRANTS HAVE PLANTED THE SEEDS FOR MORE INTERMODAL RAIL DEVELOPMENT IN THE EAST. THE RECIPIENTS OF THESE GRANTS NOW SEEK TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF DOUBLE STACK TRAINS PASSING THROUGH AREAS SUCH US GULF PORT MISSISSIPPI AND THE REGIONAL RAIL HUBS OF MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE AND BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA. ONE OF THE LARGEST TIGER GRANTS WAS AWARDED TO THE NATIONAL GATEWAY FREIGHT RAIL CORRIDOR AFFECTING THE STATES OF OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, WEST VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND. A SEPARATE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP PROJECT KNOWN AS THE HEARTLAND CORRIDOR HAS BEEN BURROWING OUT THE EXISTING TUNNELS OF VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY ALONG THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILROAD LINE. THE TUNNELS ARE NOW TALL ENOUGH TO ENABLE DOUBLE STACK CONTAINERS TO TRAVEL ON RAIL FROM THE INTERMODAL PORT OF VIRGINIA THROUGH THE HEART OF THE CENTRAL APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS TO A DESTINATION POINT IN COLUMBUS, OHIO. A NEW EXTENSION FOR THE LINE HAS BEEN APPROVED TO CONTINUE THE DOUBLE STACK CLEARANCE DOWN STATE TO CINCINNATI. BEYOND NEW RAILROAD DEVELOPMENT, THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES THAT THREATEN THE STATUS QUO IN GOODS MOVEMENT. A GROWING TREND IS THE TRANSLOADING MARKET WHICH COULD PUSH MORE DELIVERIES TO SPECIALIZED FACILITIES THAT ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE USUAL ONE SIZE FITS ALL SCHEME. TRANSLOADING INVOLVES SHIFTING GOODS FROM JUST ARRIVED STANDARD 40-FOOT INTERNATIONAL CONTAINERS TO MIXED CARGO 53-FOOT DOMESTIC CONTAINERS. IN PANAMA, CANAL AUTHORITIES HAVE PLEDGED TO STAY COMPETITIVE REGARDING CONTAINER FEES. THE CONSTRUCTION BOND TO EXPAND THE CANAL WILL REQUIRE AN ANNUAL THREE AND A HALF PERCENT INCREASE IN CONTAINER FEES FOR 20 YEARS. PANAMA IS BETTING THESE INCREASES WILL NOT DISCOURAGE TRAFFIC NOR OUTPACE POTENTIAL FEE INCREASES FROM WEST COAST COMPETITORS WHO MUST CONTEND WITH ENVIRONMENTAL MITIGATION COSTS, COMMUNITY CONGESTION CONSIDERATIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT EXPENSES. BECAUSE OF THESE AND OTHER ISSUES, PANAMA AND THE EAST COAST PORTS WILL TRY TO CAPITALIZE ON A PERCEPTION BY SOME SHIPPERS THAT WEST COAST PORTS ARE NOT BUSINESS FRIENDLY. TO THEIR CREDIT, THE PORTS OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH HAVE ADAPTED TO CALIFORNIA'S MOST STRINGENT EMISSIONS REGULATIONS IN THE NATION. THROUGH BOTH POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC NECESSITY, THESE TWIN HARBOR GIANTS HAVE LED THE FIGHT WITHIN THE INDUSTRY FOR CLEANER AIR AND GREENER PORTS. IN THE FUTURE, IF POTENTIAL FEDERAL MANDATES SUCH AS THE PROPOSED AMERICAN POWER ACT BEGIN TO IMPOSE CARBON CAPS, FEES AND EMISSIONS CONTROLS, THE CUTTING EDGE WORK DONE BY LA AND LONG BEACH WILL BE REQUIRED OF OTHER US PORTS, ADDING COSTS AND COMPLICATIONS FOR THOSE COMPETITORS. YET ANOTHER CONCERN THAT COULD TILT THE BALANCE OF GLOBAL LOGISTICS IS THE DRIFT OF LARGE-SCALE MANUFACTURING TO LOCATIONS SUCH AS INDIA AND LATIN AMERICA. ALTHOUGH CHINA AND OTHER NATIONS IN EAST ASIA MAINTAIN A CLEAR ADVANTAGE IN TECHNOLOGY, FACILITIES AND SUPPLIER NETWORKS, OTHER REGIONS COULD EVENTUALLY START TO CATCH UP. GOODS FROM INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA CAN TRAVEL VERY EFFICIENTLY THROUGH THE SUEZ CANAL FOR DELIVERY TO THE EASTERN SEABOARD. PRODUCTS ORIGINATING FROM LATIN AMERICA CAN USE THE PANAMA CANAL WHILE NAVIGATING ROUTES BOTH EAST AND WEST. THE HARBOR COMPLEX AT HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA IS THE CLOSEST NORTH AMERICAN PORT TO THE SUEZ CANAL. FROM NOVA SCOTIA, THE EXPRESS RAIL NETWORK ACROSS CANADA AND INTO THE MIDWEST IS BEING USED FOR DELIVERING GOODS TO AMERICA'S HEARTLAND. >> BUT AS THINGS GET A LITTLE BETTER, SERVICE BECOMES PREDICTABLE AND RELIABLE, MEANING THAT YOU CAN MEASURE THE TIME WITH A STOPWATCH FROM SOUTH ASIA THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL UP TO JACKSONVILLE, LET'S SAY. AS ALL OF THOSE THINGS IMPROVE AND BECOME MORE PREDICTABLE, THE MORE COMPETITIVE THOSE EAST COAST PORTS ARE GOING TO BE TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE WEST COAST. [ BACKGROUND MUSIC ] >> STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PORTS OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH HAVE MUCH TO PONDER BETWEEN NOW AND 2014. HOLDING ON TO DISCRETIONARY CARGO AND THEREBY MAINTAINING THE ASSOCIATED JOBS AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS WILL REQUIRE A CONCERTED EFFORT IN VIEW OF THE NEW AND IMPROVED LOCKS IN PANAMA. DECISIONS ARE BEING MADE RIGHT NOW BY SHIPPERS AND THEY ARE CONSIDERING ALL OF THEIR OPTIONS. ITEMS SUCH AS CAPACITY, EFFICIENCY, RELIABILITY, FLEXIBILITY AND COST WILL ADD UP TO THE SUM TOTAL OF WHERE THE EMPLOYMENT WILL RESIDE AND WHERE THE GROWTH WILL OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE SUN WILL START TO SET ON THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOODS MOVEMENT INDUSTRY OR WILL THE CHALLENGES OF NEW COMPETITION CONCEIVE A NEW SUNRISE FOR THE WESTERN WATERFRONT. 348 00:17:46,100 [ MUSIC ]

Contents

Background

In the early 1820s, the United States deemed two matters untoward interference by European powers in its zone of influence. The first was the Russian Ukase of 1821, asserting exclusive territorial and trading rights along much of what is today Canada's Pacific coast. The United States considered this area to be part of the Oregon Country and hoped to eventually gain control of it. The second was possible European threats against the Latin American nations, newly independent from Spain. United States officials feared that a Quadruple Alliance of Prussia, Austria, Russia, and France would restore Spain to power in the Americas.[1]

President James Monroe
President James Monroe

British foreign minister George Canning was concerned that in the event of a Spanish restoration in Latin America, his nation would lose the trade which it had gained there since the Spanish had been ousted. In 1823, he proposed to the American minister to Great Britain, Richard Rush, that their two nations issue a joint statement against the retaking of the former Spanish colonies by force. Rush asked for instructions from President James Monroe. The President consulted with his predecessors, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who favored the joint statement, as an alliance with Britain would protect the United States. Nevertheless, Monroe's Secretary of State, future president John Quincy Adams, felt that if the United States was going to set forth its principles, it should speak for itself and not seem to be following the lead of powerful Britain. Accordingly, Rush was instructed to decline the opportunity to enter into a joint statement, although he was to inform the British that the two nations agreed on most issues.[2]

The policy which would, some 30 years later, come to be called the "Monroe Doctrine" was contained in the President's annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. It warned European nations against new colonial ventures in the Americas, and against interference with Western Hemisphere governments. The doctrine had little practical effect at the time, as the United States lacked the ability to enforce it militarily and most European powers ignored it, considering it beneath their dignity even to respond. When Britain and other powers seized additional land in the Guianas in the 1830s, the United States did not issue a formal protest. The Mexican–American War of 1846–1848 increased Latin American suspicions over the doctrine, as many south of the border felt that the American purpose in warning European powers to keep out was to reserve the land for itself. Nevertheless, the Monroe Doctrine became an important part of United States foreign policy in the second half of the 19th and into the 20th century.[3]

Inception

A scandal involving actress Mabel Normand was one event which led to the issuance of the Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar.
A scandal involving actress Mabel Normand was one event which led to the issuance of the Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar.

By 1922, the Hollywood film industry was in serious trouble. Established in the Los Angeles area during the 1910s after moving from such eastern venues as Fort Lee, New Jersey, the industry had been rocked by a number of scandals. These included the mysterious shooting death of film director William Desmond Taylor, and the subsequent evasive testimony concerning it by actress Mabel Normand, which helped destroy her career. Another notorious scandal of the early 1920s was the death of actress Virginia Rappe following an orgy at a San Francisco hotel. Actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was, after three trials, acquitted of manslaughter, but the negative publicity ended his career as well. These scandals, together with the death of romantic lead Wallace Reid from a drug overdose and a number of instances of onscreen sexual explicitness, led to nationwide calls for a boycott of Hollywood films.[4][5]

Film moguls sought means of damage control. They hired former Postmaster General Will H. Hays as censor to the industry; the Hays Code would govern how explicit a motion picture could be for decades to come. Another idea was an exposition and film festival to give good publicity to the industry, with the profits to be used for the making of educational films.[6] Planning for this fair, to be held in Los Angeles in mid-1923, began in 1922. As other fairs, such as the World's Columbian Exposition and the Panama–Pacific Exposition, had procured the issuance of commemorative coins as a fundraiser, organizers sought a piece for the film fair.[7][8] The city of Los Angeles wanted to use the fair to show it had come of age, as had Chicago for the Columbian Exposition and San Francisco with the Panama-Pacific event.[9]

Realizing that Congress might not pass legislation for a coin to commemorate a film industry celebration, the organizers sought a historical event with a major anniversary to occur in 1923, which could be honored both at the fair and on the coin. The obvious candidate was the Boston Tea Party of 1773, but according to numismatists Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen in their volume on U.S. commemorative coins, that episode "could not be tortured into even the vaguest relevance to California, let alone to Los Angeles".[8] On December 18, 1922, California Congressman Walter Franklin Lineberger introduced a bill to strike a half dollar in commemoration of the centennial of the Monroe Doctrine, with the Los Angeles Clearing House (an association of banks)[a] given the exclusive right to purchase the pieces from the government at face value. Lineberger claimed that Monroe's declaration had kept California, then owned by Mexico, out of the hands of European powers. The bill was questioned in the House of Representatives by Michigan Congressman Louis Cramton, and in the Senate by Vermont's Frank Greene, who stated, "it seems to me that the question is not one of selling a coin at a particular value or a particular place. The question is whether the United States government is going to go on from year to year submitting its coinage to this—well—harlotry."[4] Despite these objections, the bill was enacted on January 24, 1923; a mintage of 300,000 pieces was authorized.[4]

Preparation

Chester Beach in 1910
Chester Beach in 1910

The fair organizers did not await congressional approval to begin planning the coin. According to Swiatek and Breen, the fair's director general Frank B. Davison came up with the concept for the designs. On December 7, 1922, Commission of Fine Arts chairman Charles Moore wrote to Buffalo nickel designer and sculptor member of the commission James Earle Fraser, "The Los Angeles people are planning to celebrate the Monroe Doctrine Centennial. They are going to have a 50-cent piece and have decided that on the obverse shall be the heads of President Monroe and John Quincy Adams ... On the reverse will be the western continents from Hudson Bay to Cape Horn with some dots for the West Indies and some indication of the Panama Canal ... It strikes me that the designs having been settled upon, the [plaster] models could be worked out quite readily and that a pretty swell thing could be made."[10][11]

Fraser contacted fellow New York sculptor Chester Beach, who agreed to do the work. On December 27, Moore wrote to Davison, informing him of Beach's hiring, and that Fraser and Beach had decided to change the reverse. Moore quoted Beach's description of the revised design:

Map of North and South America. North America is in the form of a draped figure, with the laurel of Peace [an olive branch], reaching to South America, also a draped figure carrying a Horn of Plenty. Their hands to touch at the Panama Canal. The West Indies are indicated. The current of the oceans are lightly shown. Between the dates 1823–1923 are a scroll and a quill pen, symbolizing the "Treaty".[b][12]

Moore informed Davison that the commission had concurred with the revision, and that Beach had been instructed to complete work as quickly as possible so as to have the coins available at an early date.[12] On February 24, 1923, commission secretary Hans Caemmerer showed the completed models to Assistant Director of the Mint Mary Margaret O'Reilly, who was pleased with them. O'Reilly suggested that if Beach was certain there would be no further changes, that he send photographs of the models to the commission's offices, to be forwarded with its endorsement to the Bureau of the Mint in Washington. This was done, and the designs were approved by both Mint Director Frank Edgar Scobey and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon on March 8. Moore was enthusiastic about the designs, writing to Davison on March 21 that "I feel great exultation over the way the model ... has turned out ... I do not know of a memorial [commemorative] coin which for sheer beauty equals this ..."[13]

Design

William E. Pike, in his 2003 article in The Numismatist about the coin, deems the design "uninspired" and complains that the low relief of the coin leaves it without sufficient detail.[7] Coin dealer and numismatic historian Q. David Bowers states that because of the shallow relief, "newly minted coins had an insipid appearance. Few if any observers called them attractive."[14] Art historian Cornelius Vermeule also complained about the relief, stating that it made the allegorical figures on the reverse "seem like mounted cut-outs ... the way the females are contoured to achieve their appearance of continents is a clever tour de force of calligraphic relief but an aesthetic monstrosity, a bad pun in art."[15] He had no more praise for the obverse, "Adams, with his staring eye, is scarcely a portrait, and Monroe would not be recognized even by an expert."[15]

Seal of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.  Its designer, Raphael Beck, considered Beach to have plagiarized his work.
Seal of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Its designer, Raphael Beck, considered Beach to have plagiarized his work.

The faint lines in the field around the continents represent various ocean currents, with the Gulf Stream to the upper right of the reverse. Swiatek and Breen speculate that the reason ocean currents were shown was to symbolize the trade routes between the continents. They also consider the design to have an Art Deco look, though noting that the lettering has more of an older, Art Nouveau appearance. Beach's monogram, CB made into a circle, is found at lower right of the reverse.[8]

On July 23, 1923, Raphael Beck, who had designed the seal for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, wrote to Mint Director Scobey to complain that the reverse design resembled his seal, which he had copyrighted in 1899, and that Beach should be given no further credit for it. The letter was forwarded to the Commission of Fine Arts for comment. In October, Fraser wrote to Beck, stating that he had suggested to Beach that he use figures to represent the continents instead of maps, and that he had never seen the Pan-American seal until Scobey forwarded the letter.[16] According to Bowers, "A comparison of the 1901 and 1923 designs, however, shows that this was highly unlikely."[14]

Distribution and collecting

In May and June 1923, 274,077 of the new half dollars were struck at the San Francisco Mint. Most of these were sent to the Los Angeles Clearing House,[14] though 77 pieces were set aside for transmission to Philadelphia and examination by the 1924 United States Assay Commission.[17]

Model of the exposition; the Los Angeles Coliseum shown at center
Model of the exposition; the Los Angeles Coliseum shown at center

The American Historical Revue and Motion Picture Industry Exposition was open from July 2 to August 4, 1923. The fair was located off of Figueroa Street in Exposition Park, just to the east of the brand-new Los Angeles Coliseum, where every evening a complimentary show for exposition visitors, "Montezuma and the Fall of the Aztecs", was given. Admission to the fair was fifty cents, though fairgoers could purchase a coin for a dollar at the box office and enter without further charge. After the first week, organizers realized the public was not interested in the historical theme, but was there to see favorite movie stars. Exhibitors accordingly greatly expanded the space devoted to movie attractions, but the exposition was a financial failure. Those in charge of the fair had hoped to attract a million visitors; the actual attendance was about 300,000, many of whom were teenagers given complimentary admission in the final two weeks of the fair.[18][19][20] With the fair flirting with insolvency throughout its run, officials hoped the planned visit of President Warren Harding on August 6 would increase gate receipts, but Harding fell ill in San Francisco and died on August 2.[20] According to Pike in his article, "its effect on the industry [was] hard to measure. However, if Hollywood owes its current status in any way to the event, then it was quite a success indeed."[7]

Approximately 27,000 half dollars were sold at the price of $1, by mail, at banks, and at the fair. Sales continued after it closed, but by October 1923, they had dropped off to almost nothing, and the banks holding them released the remaining nine-tenths of the mintage into circulation, which accounts for the wear on most surviving specimens.[19] Of those set aside, thousands more were spent during the Depression.[21] The 2015 edition of A Guide Book of United States Coins lists it at $75 in uncirculated MS-60.[22] Swiatek, in his 2012 volume on commemoratives, notes that many specimens have been treated to make them appear brighter or less worn; these, like other circulated pieces, are worth less.[23] An exceptional specimen, certified in MS-67 condition, sold at auction for $29,900 in 2009.[24]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Swiatek and Breen suggest that the Clearing House was designated as the sponsoring organization to make the issue appear less connected with the controversial movie industry. See Swiatek & Breen, pp. 166–167
  2. ^ Likely the message to Congress in which Monroe set forth his policy

References and bibliography

  1. ^ Slabaugh, pp. 55–56.
  2. ^ Slabaugh, p. 56.
  3. ^ Slabaugh, pp. 55–57.
  4. ^ a b c Bowers Encyclopedia, Part 35.
  5. ^ Cregan, pp. 24–25.
  6. ^ Cregan, p. 25.
  7. ^ a b c Pike, p. 48.
  8. ^ a b c Swiatek & Breen, p. 166.
  9. ^ Garofalo, p. 36.
  10. ^ Swiatek & Breen, p. 167.
  11. ^ Taxay, pp. 62–63.
  12. ^ a b Taxay, p. 63.
  13. ^ Taxay, pp. 67–68.
  14. ^ a b c Bowers, p. 73.
  15. ^ a b Vermeule, p. 165.
  16. ^ Taxay, p. 68.
  17. ^ Bowers Encyclopedia, Part 37.
  18. ^ Cregan, pp. 25–26.
  19. ^ a b Swiatek, p. 142.
  20. ^ a b Garofalo, p. 40.
  21. ^ Bowers Encyclopedia, Part 36.
  22. ^ Yeoman, p. 292.
  23. ^ Swiatek, p. 143.
  24. ^ Swiatek, p. 144.

Books

  • Bowers, Q. David (2008). A Guide Book of United States Commemorative Coins. Atlanta, Ga.: Whitman Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7948-2256-9.
  • Slabaugh, Arlie R. (1975). United States Commemorative Coinage (second ed.). Racine, Wis.: Whitman Publishing. ISBN 978-0-307-09377-6.
  • Swiatek, Anthony (2012). Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States. Chicago: KWS Publishers. ISBN 978-0-9817736-7-4.
  • Swiatek, Anthony; Breen, Walter (1981). The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins, 1892 to 1954. New York: Arco Publishing. ISBN 978-0-668-04765-4.
  • Taxay, Don (1967). An Illustrated History of U.S. Commemorative Coinage. New York: Arco Publishing. ISBN 978-0-668-01536-3.
  • Vermeule, Cornelius (1971). Numismatic Art in America. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-62840-3.
  • Yeoman, R.S. (2014). A Guide Book of United States Coins (68th ed.). Atlanta, Ga.: Whitman Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7948-4215-4.

Other sources

External links

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