Authorized by congress on May 2, 1935 and issued to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Hudson, New York; this is another of the coins issued to celebrate a relatively insignificant event. The trivial nature of the event to be commemorated didn’t stop it from being the center of a major controversy when the Hudson Sesquicentennial Committee working through the First National Bank & Trust Company of Hudson announced to the world that the issue was sold out just 5 days after the total mintage of 10,000 Coins (plus 8 reserved for Assasy) was received from the Philadelphia Mint and less than two months after the committee started taking orders. The public uproar was loud and long and escalated when it was discovered that most of the coins had been sold to two Coin dealers, who now had many coins available on the secondary market at significantly inflated prices.
The coin was designed by Chester Beach who had also designed the 1923 Monroe Doctrine, 1925-Lexington-Concord, and the models for the 1928-Hawaiian-Sesquicentennial commemorative half dollars. The original design was supposed to have Henry Hudson’s portrait on the obverse, but after completing the design as originally specified, Beach supplied an alternate obverse which featured Hudson’s flag ship the “Half Moon”.
The obverse design that was finally chosen shows Hudson’s three masted flag ship the “Half Moon” sailing to the right on a choppy sea, with the word “HUDSON” buried in the waves below the ship. The inscription “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” in block letters arcs across the top from 9 to 3 , with “IN GOD WE TRUST” in smaller block Letters inside the larger inscription running from 10:30 to 1:30. “HALF DOLLAR” arcs across the bottom while a stylized crescent “Man in the Moon” looks on above the ship. Chester Beach’s initials are seen is a stylized monogram at the water line to the left.
The reverse design is perhaps the most bizarre of all of the commemorative designs. It is based on the seal of the city of Hudson and shows Neptune holding his triton, riding backwards on a spouting sperm whale with a mermaid blowing a conch shell in the background. This strange scene take place under a ribbon inscribed with the Latin Phrase “ET DECUS ET PRETIUM RECTI” meaning "Both an Ornament and a Reward of the Righteous Man” which is the Hudson Village Motto. “CITY OF HUDSON N.Y.” Arcs across the top with a dot at the beginning and another after the word Hudson, but the symmetry is broken by the periods after ”N” & “Y” without having a dot at the end . “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is below the pictures and the anniversary dates 1785-1935 below that.