The Kennedy Half Dollar was created to memorialize President John F. Kennedy. The mintages for the coin were immense in the early years of the series as many members of the public saved the coin as a memento. Over the years, this actually led to a decline in use for the denomination, which resulted in dwindling mintages for the duration of the series, which continues to the present day.
The design of the coin features a portrait of the President, facing left. The inscription “Liberty” is widely spaced above and “In God We Trust” is across the neck line. The date appears below. On the reverse is an eagle based on the Presidential Seal. There is an olive branch and arrows in its talons and fifty stars surrounding. A banner above the eagle reads “E Pluribus Unum”, while the inscriptions “United States of America” and “Half Dollar” surround the image. For the 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar the reverse image was changed to depict Independence Hall and the date on the obverse was “1776-1976”.