New Harbor, Maine — The new Maine quarter promises to light up America’s summer. Maine’s entry in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program is the first U.S. circulating coin to feature one of our Nation’s historic lighthouses.
United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore and Maine Governor John Baldacci formally launched the coin in a ceremony today before the dramatic Pemaquid Point Light, strikingly illustrated on the quarter. The Maine State commemorative quarter–dollar is the 23rd in the 50 State Quarters Program. It is the last of the New England quarters to be minted. Americans will start seeing this quarter in their pockets within weeks.
“As Americans enjoy their summer vacations, they will be buying ice cream cones with quarters featuring one of the picturesque lighthouses they love to visit,” said Director Fore.
“It is a great pleasure to kick–off the summer season by unveiling the new Maine State Quarter,” said Governor Baldacci. “Pemaquid Point is a spectacular setting for this historic event and our state quarter depicts a scene that demonstrates part of what makes Maine such a special place. I know this new quarter will enhance interest in our state, and serve an education role for children as part of the United States Mint’s Quarter Program.”
Additional participants in the ceremony included Maine State Treasurer Dale McCormick; Tom Wilcox, Executive Director of the Maine Maritime Museum; Tim Harrison, President of the American Lighthouse Foundation; Captain Kip Files of the schooner Victory Chimes; and Maine humorist Tim Sample.
The Maine quarter is the third to be released in 2003. Coins in the 50 State Quarters Program are released in the order the states were admitted into the Union. Maine became the 23rd state to be admitted into the Union on March 15, 1820.
The Maine quarter design also features the image of a schooner resembling Victory Chimes, the last three–masted schooner of the Windjammer Fleet. Victory Chimes has become synonymous with Maine windjamming.
Pemaquid Point Light is located in New Harbor, and marks the entrance to Muscongus Bay and Johns Bay. Since the beginning of ship activity in the area, a shoal created hazardous navigation conditions, causing many shipwrecks. As maritime trade increased in the area, so did the need for a lighthouse. In 1826, Congress appropriated funds to build a lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. The original building was replaced in 1835. The light is still a beacon for ships and remains one of Maine’s most popular tourist attractions.
In March 2001, former Governor Angus King established the Commission on the Maine State Quarter Design. The Pemaquid Point Light design was chosen by popular vote, with more than 100,000 Maine residents participating.
Governor Baldacci has been supportive of the 50 State Quarters Program and visited the United States Mint in Philadelphia, along with Congressman Michael Michaud, on May 12, 2003, when the United States Mint honored the Pine Tree State with Maine Quarter Day. The United States Mint officially released the Maine quarter to the Federal Reserve Bank on June 2, 2003.
The United States Mint’s collectible five–coin proof sets featuring all five state quarters for 2003 and other popular 50 State Quarters products are available on the United States Mint’s website, www.usmint.gov, and by calling 1–800–USA–MINT.
Launched in 1999, the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program is a 10–year initiative that honors each of the states in the order that they ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union. Each quarter is produced for about 10 weeks and will never be produced again. Surveys show that more than 130 million adults are collecting the quarters.
Created by Congress in 1792, the United States Mint is the manufacturer of legal tender coinage for the United States. In Fiscal Year 2002, the United States Mint manufactured approximately 15 billion coins and generated revenue of $1.8 billion and nearly $1 billion was returned to the United States Treasury. With facilities in five states and the District of Columbia, the United States Mint has customers in 54 countries and is the world’s 30th largest e–tailer.
For more information, please visit www.usmint.gov. For a digital photograph of the new Maine quarter, please visit: http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#SQ2003.
Satellite feed information Maine State Quarter Launch Pemaquid Point Light, New Harbor Maine Satellite feed date: June 9, 2003 Feed time: 3:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m. ET Coordinates: C–Band/ AMC2/Transponder 11 DL 3920 Satellite feed date: June 10, 2003 Feed time: 10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. ET Coordinates: C–Band/AMC2/Transponder 23 DL 4160 This B–roll will contain: 1. Close–up of new Maine quarter 2. Video of Maine quarters being produced by the United States Mint 3. Scenes from launch event at lighthouse in New Harbor, Maine 4. Soundbites of officials from the event, launching the new Maine quarter For more information on VNR, contact: Cynthia Meals, 202–354–7231