When Congress authorized the Franklin silver half dollar in 1948, it was expected to be issued for at least 25 consecutive years. But following the tragic loss of President Kennedy, a new 1964 Kennedy half dollar was quickly approved, abruptly supplanting the Franklin series. The short run of this coin design makes it a great series for the collector. And Franklins proved to be America's last half dollar to be completely struck in traditional 90% silver. In 1956, these were the largest silver coins released and were only produced in Philadelphia. The mintage of just 4 million, was far fewer than outputs a few years earlier or a few year later, when annual production topped 43 million.