A medallion to commemorate Henry Johnson

Henry Johnson medal design obverse by Chris Costello

The image above is the design for a new coin-shaped medallion the Ferris Coin Co. is producing to commemorate Henry Johnson. (You might remember the call for entries back in March.) The reverse side, which is still being finalized, will feature Albany City Hall.

The winning design is by Chris Costello, who's designed many coins and medals. A quarter he designed for the US Mint honoring the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island will be released later this year.*

The Henry Johnson medals will be available in June. Ferris is making 500 of them, and the price will depend on the price of silver. A group of the coins will be set aside for winners of the Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the coins will benefit the Albany Veterans of the 369th, which worked to get Henry Johnson recognized with the Medal of Honor.

It was 100 years this week -- Tuesday, specifically -- that Henry Johnson, serving in France with the famed Harlem Hellfighters, fought off a surprise German attack of at least 12 soldiers and saved a fellow American soldier, all while being wounded multiple times. Upon his return to the United States he was initially hailed as a hero. But he was later marginalized after speaking out about the racism African-Americans faced in the military. Unable to work because of his war injuries, Johnson's personal life crumbled and he died in 1929 while still in his 30s. He's buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

In 2015 Johnson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House.
____

* One more bit about Chris Costello, the designer: He also designed the Papyrus typeface.

Earlier: Recognizing Henry Johnson -- and the people who worked to gain that recognition

Comments

It looks like a fine medallion- but in addition to the 500 in silver, might there be a further edition in bronze or pewter?

Hi Eric,

Ferris Coin Co. are my clients and I've been working with them on this project. We have discussed the possibility of doing an antique brass version at some point in the future. Not sure if that will happen. But it definitely won't happen unless / until the silver rounds are sold out. The good news is... these are going to be priced to sell (probably somewhere in the range of $30).

Great to see the designer got the French Army 'adrian' helmet right. The 369th Infantry Regiment, a black unit, was assigned to the French army because we were even more racist back in those days.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

An opinion on blood plasma centers, methadone clinics, a large logo, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

Exploring Washington County

The rural, rolling hills of Washington County are just about an hour northeast of Albany on a scenic ride along Route 40. The county is... (more)

Morning Blend

Next Albany police chief + Kathy Sheehan has appointed Eric Hawkins to be the next Albany police chief. He's currently the police chief in Southfield,... (more)

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

We got a chance this week to stop in the State Museum and see an interesting artifact that's newly on display, Cornplanter's Pipe Tomahawk. The... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

We're in the thick of the summer now. Long days, lemonade, blueberries, ice cream, and a bounty of stuff to do. We collected a few... (more)

Recent Comments

... The theft itself of this important Native American artifact is an important part of its story. It's really a miracle that almost 70 years later that the Cornplanter pipe tomahawk ended up back at the State Museum, instead of remaining in someone's secret, private collection acquired illicitly, or even worse, not cared for professionally and therefore damaged, destroyed, or lost forever.

Exploring Washington County

...has 2 comments, most recently from Katie

Scanning that New York State Department of Health report that argues the case for legalizing recreational marijuana

...has 12 comments, most recently from Megan m

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ed

Morning Blend for Jul 20

...has 1 comment, most recently from Amy

Local places to buy head scarves?

...has 2 comments, most recently from Summer