In 1908 an explorer named Frederick Cook claimed that he reached the North Pole on April 21 of that year. However, the claims were doubted and it is widely accepted that Robert Peary was the first man to reach the North Pole in 1909. However, some now claim that there is little evidence that either man ever reached their claimed destination. In any case, this 1908 half dollar recalls the first time an explorer asserted, whether truthfully or not, that he complete the North Pole journey.
The Philadelphia Mint struck proof Half Dollars of the Barber type every year from 1892 through 1915. The first-year 1892 is a perennial favorite among type collectors, while the 1913, 1914 and 1915 enjoy strong market demand due to the limited mintages of their identically dated business strike counterparts.