President Bush has signed a measure that authorizes the minting of a silver dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. In September 1957, the formerly all-white school was integrated by nine African-American students, a major test for the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which struck down segregated public schools.
The U.S. Treasury will issue 500,000 of the commemorative coins next year. Proceeds from a $10 surcharge on each coin will go to the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. If all of the coins are sold, the amount will total $5 million.
Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Ark., and Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Arkansas Democrats, sponsored the legislation.