The Alabama half dollars were authorized in 1920 for the statehood centennial, which was celebrated in 1919, but they were not struck until 1921. The coins, designed by Laura Gardin Fraser, were offered first during President Warren Harding’s visit to Birmingham, October 26, 1921. The St. Andrew’s cross, an emblem on the state flag, appears on a part of the issue between the numbers in “2X2,” indicating it was the 22nd state of the Union. The obverse has busts of William Wyatt Bibb, first governor of Alabama, and T.E. Kilby, governor at the time of the centennial. This is the first instance of the use of a living person’s portrait on a United States coin.