PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Scores of local area school children recited the Pledge of Allegiance today — the 234th anniversary of the adoption of Old Glory as the Nation’s flag — as part of the launch ceremony for the Olympic National Park quarter, the eighth coin issued in the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
“The beauty of Olympic National Park is in its biodiversity, three distinct ecosystems of sub–alpine, coastal and forest,” said B.B. Craig, United States Mint Associate Director for Sales and Marketing. “There is no other national site like it, and the new Olympic National Park quarter will connect America to its natural splendor.”
On hand to help Craig launch the new quarter were Washington’s First Gentleman Mike Gregoire, who read a proclamation declaring June 14 “Quarter Day in the Classroom;” Vanessa Fuller of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, who served as master of ceremonies; and Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. Following the ceremony, each child in attendance received a new Olympic National Park quarter to commemorate the event, while adults exchanged their paper currency for coin rolls of the quarter. In addition to today’s event, Craig hosted a coin forum the evening before the launch ceremony to answer questions and share information about United States Mint coin programs and initiatives.
Millions of Olympic National Park quarters were released into circulation by the Federal Reserve Bank on June 13. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts a Roosevelt elk standing on a gravel river bar of the Hoh River with a view of Mount Olympus in the background. Inscriptions on the reverse are OLYMPIC, WASHINGTON, 2011 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The obverse (heads side) design features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.
The America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, authorized by Public Law 110–456, is a 12–year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites. Under the program, five new quarters will be issued each year with reverse designs emblematic of each honored national site, with the final coin being issued in early 2021. The United States Mint will issue these quarters in the order in which the honored site was first established as a national site.
In 2010, the United States Mint unveiled new lesson plans based on the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. 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, unique heritage and natural beauty of our national parks and sites. The free lesson plans are available at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/.
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.