The Conch Republic was founded on April 23, 1982, after the U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock at the entrance of the Florida Keys in an effort to to curtail the alleged transport of narcotics and illegal immigrants to the US mainland. The resulting 20 mile-long traffic jam proved a deterrent to visiting tourists, a major inconvenience to natives and was a serious blow to the local economy. In protest, the citizens of Key West seceded from the Union, hoisted their flag, declared war on the United States,  then quickly surrendered - in order to qualify for "foreign aid".  The protest brought national attention to their plight and the roadblock was soon removed.  Conch Republic independence day has been celebrated annually ever since then.  This 2006 Conch Republic Dollars feature a sailing ship on one side and a conch shell on the other.  The silver-plated Proof coin is 39mm in diameter and has a mintage of 5000 pieces.

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