GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The United States Mint released the Gettysburg National Military Park quarter today with a special ceremony held at the park’s Museum and Visitor Center. United States Mint Associate Director for Sales and Marketing B. B. Craig and Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Bob Kirby co–hosted the event, with Barbara Finfrock, vice chair of the Gettysburg Foundation, serving as master of ceremonies. The event also included appearances by Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Manbeck Corbett and the Gettysburg High School Civil War Ceremonial Brass Band. Highlights included a coin exchange in which attendees swapped their cash for rolls of the new Gettysburg National Military Park quarter. Those 18 years of age and younger received a new quarter to commemorate the event.
“The America the Beautiful Quarters Program connects America to our national parks, forests, fish and wildlife refuges, and other national sites,” said Craig. “The Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter commemorates the pivotal battle fought here in the American Civil War, and it recognizes Gettysburg’s special place among our revered and protected national treasures.”
The Gettysburg National Military Park quarter is the first to be released in 2011 and the sixth overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The coin’s reverse design depicts the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, which is located on the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge. Inscriptions are GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, 2011 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
“We are happy to be honored with this beautiful quarter,” Kirby said. “The coin can be a daily reminder of the sacrifices made at Gettysburg and a great way to start a conversation about national parks, national heritage and the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.”
The Battle of Gettysburg, the Union victory in the summer of 1863 that ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North, was a turning point in the Civil War. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Confederacy,” it was among the war’s bloodiest battles. It also provided President Abraham Lincoln with the setting for his most famous speech. Established by concerned citizens in 1864, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association set out to preserve portions of the battlefield as a memorial to the Union troops that fought in the battle. In 1895, the land was transferred to the federal government and Gettysburg National Military Park was established.
Beginning January 27, the United States Mint will offer to the public collectible bags and rolls containing the Gettysburg National Military Park quarter at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog and 1–800 USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1–888–321–MINT (6468). Information about additional America the Beautiful Quarters Program product options, including subscriptions, is also available at the site.
The United States Mint is also offering free lesson plans based on the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which are available at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/. Created and reviewed by teachers to meet national curricular standards, the plans draw on the new quarter reverse designs to inspire students to learn about the culture, geography and unique heritage and natural beauty of our national parks and sites.