This coin is one of the top ones in my collection and I got it for a steal of a price. The dealer wanted $40 for it and I was not sure because the sticker was so small and did not have a unique image on it. I almost did not buy it. I had walked out of the coin show to leave and I had only purchased one coin. We had been there for a very long time and as we walked out my 3 sons were talking about what they had picked up, and on a whim I decided to head back in and buy it. I am glad I did. This documented history on this coin is really great.
The coin was sealed in a cardboard coin holder that was quite old. When I got it home to move it to an airtight holder I was sick to my stomach when the sticker about popped off the coin. Come to find out there were two stickers with the one on the bottom firmly attached, and in excellent condition. I can just imagine one of the people in the 1950s putting stickers on coins when they realized they had zoned out and accidentally skipped one of the coins. That being the case they carefully stuck one sticker on top of another so their counts would come out right! Anyway I am pleased to own this little piece of American military history.
This dollar was a dollar paid to Air National Gard members in Peoria Illinois. The Air National Gard was new and the town folk were not sure they wanted all the young GIs running around their town. There was a banker that was a member of the 169th and he suggested that all the GIs get paid in silver dollars with gold stickers on them. That way the people would know that there was a lot of new money entering the community. There were a total of 55k coins made. I think the number left are in the 100s.
Please read here if you want some more information: link
Here is a large Quote from the link above:
To show the community the economic impact of the IL ANG(Air National Gard), years ago personnel were paid with marked dollars. Tell about that study and the result.
When the unit was formed in 1947, the airport was owned by the Peoria Park District and the operating budget for the airport was very small. There was no airport authority as we know it today. The hierarchy of airport leadership at that time did not really have a good appreciation of the Air National Guard or what a unit could do for the community economically. After all, this new entity – the United States Air Force – was just beginning and people were unaware of what it was all about.
One of the founders of the unit was Art Szold, a man well known throughout the Peoria area and a person who has been very active in helping make Peoria better. Art was the commander and he and the others worked hard to increase membership to have the unit federally recognized.
In 1950 Art felt strongly that he needed to do something to make the community aware of the guard and what the economic impact was on the community. One of the members was a banker and suggested one was to improve the community’s awareness of the guard’s impact was to pay unit members with silver dollars – and circulate them throughout the community.
Then people would see silver dollars being passed around and ask where they came from and why. The trick, however, was to mark these silver dollars so that people knew these were new dollars coming into the community from the federal government to meet the payroll for the guard unit.
Art contacted Fleming and Potter and they donated a supply of small gold strips that could be temporarily affixed to the coins. They marked about 55,000 silver dollars with the gold strip. They actually brought a truck to the base with a teller cage mounted on the trailer. They dispersed the payroll that month in silver dollars from the back of the truck.
Art’s only direction to the ANG members was to circulate the money – not necessarily spend it, but circulate it in the community the next weekend.
The following week there were silver dollars floating everywhere around town. The questions began and the community interest was great.
Just months after Art did this, it became evident there was a mine subsidence problem at the airport. Coal mines had been dug along the bluff area of Bartonville, and mining operations took place under some areas of the airport. There actually was some subsidence where concrete was settling and caving in on airport property.
This caused a great deal of concern to the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. and the unit was told that they would have to make arrangements somehow to get the airport directorship to fix that problem or the unit would have to be relocated to Rockford or Moline.
Because of this silver dollar experiment – and because members of the community saw the impact from the circulation of those dollars – the Association of Commerce supported and, in fact, funded a referendum which provided for the formation of the Greater Peoria Airport Authority. That entity still exists today, of course, and has done an outstanding job in improving and making sure Peoria has a viable airport.
As a result of the formation of the airport authority, the mine subsidence issue was taken care of and life goes on for the Air National Guard in Peoria. If that same silver dollar payout could be made now, we’d find ourselves dispersing, after taxes, neatly 1.2 million silver dollars per month.
We owe much to the founders of the organization, who had the foresight to win over and make the community realize how important this Air National Guard unit could be to the future of Peoria.