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Thursday, 21 June 2012

69) America The Beautiful Quarters (2): Quarters issued by the U.S. Mint (2011):

69) America The Beautiful Quarters (2):
 Quarters issued by the U.S. Mint (2011):

The following five quarters were released by the US Mint in 2011:

The above is a collection of 14 uncirculated coins issued by the US Mint at Denver , (Mint mark "D", below the motto "In God We Trust" on all five quarters given here) which shows the obverse of five quarters . The obverse shows a portrait of George Washington and is designed by John Flanagan.

The reverse of these five quarters, included in the set and explained in detail below.

 The Composition of all these five quarters is: 8.33% nickel, balance copper. Weight: 5.67 gms. Diameter: 24.30 mm or 0.955 inch: edge: reeded. Mints: Philadelphia (P), Denver (D) Uncirculated coins .

1)      Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania):

The Gettysburg National Military Park is the first quarter to be issued in 2011 and is the sixth overall in the America and the Beautiful Quarters Programme. The battle of Gettysburg, which ended with a Union Victory in the summer of 1863, and blunted Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North, was a turning point in the American Civil War. The battle was one of the most fiercely fought by both sides resulted in more than 51000 casualties. 

On 19th November 1863, Abraham Lincoln travelled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to attend the dedication of a cemetery. A famous orator of the day Edward Everett was to deliver the principal oration, but the President was requested to make a few brief remarks.

 His remarks have gone down in history as the classic Gettysburg Address:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

(I have taken this address from a book titled “Abraham Lincoln speaks” issued by the US Information Service, which was in my late father’s library and had inspired me during my early years).

In 1864, shortly afterwards, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, a group of concerned citizens, got the battlefield preserved as a memorial to the Union troops who fought here. The park has several monuments and memorials, many of them placed by veterans of the battle. 

The Park was transferred to the Federal Government as Gettysburg National Military Park on 11th February 1895.

The reverse of this coin depicts the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, which is located on the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge. A cannon and an infantryman fighting with his musket after discharging his shot are a grim reminder of the fiercely fought battle and a tribute to the brave men who fought to defend the ideals they stood for and immortalized in Lincoln’s address. 

On the periphery of the coin are the inscriptions “GETTYSBURG”, “PENNSYLVANIA”, “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (One Out Of Many) and the year of issue “2011”. The initials of the designer “JI” (Joel Iskowitz) and sculptor/engraver “PH” (Phebe Hemphill) are placed on the lower section of the design.
 In 1936, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (1863-1868), the above half dollar coin was issued. On one face were a Union and Confederate soldiers standing together in memory of their comrades who had fought valiantly that day. On this face, the peripferal inscriptions are " United States of America, Blue and Gray Reunion". On the other face is mentioned "75th anniversary - 1863-1938. Battle of Gettysburg" and the year of issue 1936 is inscribed together with the words "Half dollar".

2)      Glacier National Park (Montana):

The Glacier National Park quarter is the second quarter to be issued in 2011 and the seventh overall in the America and the Beautiful Quarters Programme. 

 The Park was recognized as a National Reserve on 22nd February 1897. Glacier National Park borders Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada – the two Parks are known as the “Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park” (the World’s first International Peace Park) in 1932 and were designated by the United Nations as “Biosphere Reserves” in 1976. They were declared World Heritage sites in 1995.

The Park is located in Montana and has got its name from its predominantly glacier –carved terrain and remnant glaciers dating back to the ice age of some 10000 years ago.  The spectacular and breathtaking scenery of the Park can be attributed to glacial forces, pre-historic seas, geologic faults and other forces of Nature.
 Known to the “Blackfeet” and the “Flatfoot” (both Native Americans tribes living in this Area) as the “Backbone of the World”, Glacier National Park boasts of more than one million acres of forests, alpine meadows. Lakes, rugged peaks and glacially carved valleys in the Northern Rocky Mountains. 

The park encompasses  over 10,00,000 acres or about 4000 square kms and includes two mountain ranges (sub-mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains), more than 130 named lakes  and several unnamed water bodies, and over 1000 species of plants and several varieties of animals.  A large portion of the Park covers a pristine ecosystem which is called the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem”. 

Glacier National Park has almost all the endemic plant and animal species viz., Grizzly Bears, mountain goats, wolverines, lynx, and birds like the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, hawks etc. abound. Its numerous eco-systems range from the prairie to tundra and forests of red cedar and hemlock.  
 There are six mountains in the Park, with Mount Cleaveland being the tallest (at about 10470 feet). Another interesting formation called the “Triple Peak Divide Peak” sends water towards the Pacific Ocean, Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico watersheds. 

The Park has several Glaciers which are also feeling the “heat” of Global warming. The continuous melting of glaciers will no doubt reduce the aesthetic scenery that the Glaciers provide to visitors.

The reverse of this coin shows a classic view of the Northeast slope of Mount Reynolds towering in the distance. In the foreground is a mountain goat standing on the rocky slopes of the Park’s high country.

On the periphery of the coin are the inscriptions “GLACIER”, “MONTANA”, “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (One Out Of Many) and the year of issue “2011”. The initials of the designer “BF” (Barbara Fox) and sculptor/engraver “CLV” (Charles L. Vickers) are placed on the lower section of the design.

3)      Olympic National Park (Washington):

  The Olympic National Park Quarter is the third quarter to be issued in 2011 and the eighth overall in the America and the Beautiful Quarters Programme.  

   The Forest was established as a National site on 22nd February 1897 and turned into a National Monument in 1909. In 1938 it was designated as a National Park and in 1976, it was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve.  Later, in 1981, it was further designated as a World Heritage site.

  Olympic National Park is located in Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The Park has four different Regions – the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the West side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier East side.

   The Park covers almost one million acres and has several tides - pools, glacier - capped peaks and covers more than seventy miles of Pacific Ocean beaches It consists of coastline, rugged peaks, meadows, lakes, scattered forests and steep forested slopes leading to several valleys. Almost 95% of the Park has been designated as the “Olympic Wilderness”. The Park is home to intact eco-systems having several plants and several varieties of animals.  The Park has several hiking trails and roads which do not penetrate deep into the interiors of the Park. One can also backpack along the beach. 

  In the centre of the Park are the Olympic Mountains whose sides and ridgelines are topped by ancient glaciers. The western half of the Range is dominated by the peak of Mount Olympus (about 8000 feet high) which receives a large amount of snow. There are several glaciers on this side, the largest one being the Hoh Glacier, which is nearly five km. in length which is at the source of the Hoh River. The tallest summit in this area is Mount Deception (almost 7800 feet high). The Western side of the Park has a temperate Rain Forest, including the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest.

The reverse of this coin exhibits a Roosevelt elk standing on a gravel river bar of the Hoh River with a view of Mount Olympus in the background.

On the periphery of the coin are the inscriptions “OLYMPIC”, “WASHINGTON”, “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (One Out Of Many) and the year of issue “2011”. The initials of the designer “SG” (Susan Gamble) and sculptor/engraver “MG” (Michael Gaudioso) are placed on the lower section of the design.

4)      Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi):

The Vicksburg National Military Park quarter is the fourth quarter to be issued in 2011 and the ninth overall in the America and the Beautiful Quarters Programme. Vicksburg National Military Park was established as a National site on 21st February 1899 to commemorate the siege and defence of Vicksburg. The Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on 16th October 1966.

The Park commemorates one of the crucial battles of the American Civil War – the campaign, siege, and defence of Vicksburg, Mississippi from 18th May to 4th July 1863. Surrender by the opposing forces on 4th July 1863, together with the fall of Port Hudson, La., was a decisive victory, giving control of the Mississippi River to the Union Forces. The museum exhibits at the Park recall the hardships of civilians and soldiers during the devastating 47 day long siege of the city. The Park also commemorates the greater Vicksburg campaign, which preceded the battle.

The Park has more than 1350 monuments, a National cemetery and the restored Union ironclad gunboat, the U.S.S. Cairo, which was the first warship to be sunk on the Yazoo River on 12th December 1862 by an electronically detonated torpedo, which brought in a new phase of naval warfare and which was salvaged in 1964. The Park also showcases the Grant Canal site where the Union Army attempted to build a canal to let their ships elude Confederate artillery fire. The Cairo is also nicknamed the “Hardluck Ironclad” because of its unfortunate end. 

The Park has reconstructed forts and 20 miles of trenches, which keep alive the memories of the 47 – day long siege. It also has 144 cannon.

The reverse of this coin shows an artistic impression of the U.S.S. Cairo on the Yazoo River as it would have been seen while in active service of the U.S. Navy during the Civil War with all its guns at the ready in the gun ports and the Ironclad forging full steam ahead, ready to do battle, flying the Union Flag.

On the periphery of the coin are the inscriptions “VICKSBURG”, “MISSISSIPPI”, “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (One Out Of Many) and the year of issue “2011”. The initials of the designer “TC” (Thomas Cleveland) and sculptor/engraver “JFM” (Joseph Menna) are placed on the lower section of the design.

5)      Chickasaw National Recreation Area:

The Chickasaw National Recreation Area quarter is the fifth quarter to be issued in 2011 and is the 10th overall in the America and the beautiful quarters Programme. The Park was established as a National site on 1st July 1902. Chickasaw National Recreational Area protects some forested hills of South –Central Oklahoma, near Sulphur.  The Park was initially established as “Sulphur Springs Reservation” on 1st July 1902, redesignated as “Platt National Park” on 29th June 1906, combined with the Arbuckle Recreation Area” and additional lands and renamed and redesignated on 17th March 1976. The Park now covers about 10000 acres of property, out of which water covers about 2500 acres.

The Park was founded to commemorate the Chickasaw Nation, an Indian tribe, who were relocated to this area from the South-Eastern United States during 1830s. They later sold the original 640 acres of land for the Park to the Federal Government, with the proviso that the Park authorities/management should not charge any admission fee for visitors/guests. 

The Park focuses on protecting and interpreting its cultural history, including that of the Chickasaw Nation, historic landscapes and structures and to provide for public education, appreciation and recreational use and enjoyment of those resources. The Park secures the protection of the Area’s unique resources, springs, streams, lakes and other natural features.

The park contains several Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) architecture, particularly pavilions, park buildings and enclosures to the park’s natural springs.

The reverse of this coin depicts the Lincoln Bridge, built of limestone and dedicated in 1909 to celebrate the birth centenary of Abraham Lincoln. This bridge was the first constructed improvement in the National Recreation area and a popular scenic spot.

On the periphery of the coin are the inscriptions “CHICKASAW”, “OKLAHOMA”, “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (One Out Of Many) and the year of issue “2011”. The initials of the designer “DW” (: Donna Weaver) and sculptor/engraver “JL” (Jim Licaretz) are placed on the lower section of the design.

   A quarter received in general circulation, depicting the Lincoln Bridge.

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