SULPHUR, Okla. — The century–old ornamental flowerbeds of Flower Park served as the backdrop today for the United States Mint’s official launch ceremony of the new quarter honoring the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts the Lincoln Bridge, built of limestone and dedicated in 1909 to celebrate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The bridge is the first constructed improvement in the national recreation area and a favorite scenic spot. Inscriptions are CHICKASAW, OKLAHOMA, 2011 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
“When Americans receive this quarter depicting the Lincoln Bridge in their change,” said United States Mint Associate Director for Sales and Marketing B. B. Craig, “they will hold a piece of our American story in their hands, this one about the beauty and history of a special place conserved for them in Oklahoma.”
The ceremony was co–hosted by Craig and Chickasaw National Recreation Area Superintendent Bruce Noble, with Oklahoma State Representative Wes Hilliard serving as master of ceremonies. Dr. Amanda Cobb–Greetham, administrator of the Chickasaw Nation Division of History and Culture, also participated. The event culminated with a coin exchange where members of the public swapped their currency for rolls of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarter.
In addition to the ceremony today, the United States Mint also hosted a coin forum at the Travertine Nature Center Auditorium last evening where local residents gathered to discuss U.S. coinage and to learn about United States Mint initiatives and programs.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarter is the 10th coin in the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. The Federal Reserve Bank released the new quarter to the public on November 14. At noon Eastern Time the same day, circulating quality Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarters, packaged in collectible bags and rolls, became available for purchase at the United States Mint’s secure Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, and at 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). The bureau is also accepting orders at 1–888–321–MINT (6468) from hearing– and speech–impaired customers using TTY equipment. For information about additional products featuring the Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarter, visit the online catalog.
A landmark in natural resource conservation, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is the first and only national park area in the United States established at the request of an Indian Tribe, the Chickasaw Nation. For more than 100 years, the park has been a refuge for outdoor tradition, a protected niche of parkland. Native Americans, early settlers of the surrounding plains, and present day Americans all have sought recreation here in shaded woodlands, threaded by clear–running streams and dotted with mineral and freshwater springs. It was established as a national site in 1902.
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.