"In brief, some historians believe that representatives of Mecklenburg County met on May 19 and 20 in 1775 to discuss, debate, and decide what steps would be taken by the county in response to the increasing oppression they were being subject to by King George III, the British Parliament, and local Crown authorities. Further, it is said that the assembled representatives developed a series of resolutions that declared Mecklenburg County’s independence from Great Britain; the document is said to have been read to an assembled public on May 20, 1775 from the steps of the Charlotte Courthouse. If this is all true, then it would be very significant considering it occurred more than a year before the national Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. As part of the centennial’s commemoration, it was decided by its organizing committee to have a medal struck. In early 1875, William Johnston, a successful North Carolina lawyer and businessman who was then also the Mayor of Charlotte, approached Richard Henry Linderman, Director of the United States Mint, concerning the striking of a commemorative medal to help mark the Centennial. A private citizen or group contacting the Director of the Mint directly to get a medal authorized would not be possible today (the US Congress needs to be involved), but it was not uncommon in the mid-1800s. The engravers and production facilities of the Mint were often engaged to design and strike medals for a variety of private and personal purposes. Many of these personal requests were made directly to the Director or through one of the Mint’s engravers." The medals were designed by Charles Barber, struck in the US Mint and were struck on standard half dollar planchets. This is a really neat example of a mint medal with a very interesting story.