Harpers Ferry Quarter launched
United States Mint officials joined with the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Wednesday for the launch of the American the Beautiful Quarter Program’s latest addition, the Harpers Ferry quarter. According to park officials, 420 chairs were set up on the lawn beside the Shenandoah River and all were filled. Scores of others stood around the perimeter to view history in the making despite a mid-morning downpour.
Park Superintendent Rebecca Harriett shared that the Harpers Ferry park officials had learned of the State Quarter launch seven years ago.
“It is an ideal time at the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service,” she told guests.
Master of Ceremonies for the day was Vicky Bullett, Olympic gold medalist and Eastern Panhandle native. She introduced representatives from the offices of Senators Manchin and Capito, who read preprared remarks from the senators.
Bill Norton, director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs with the U.S. Mint, spoke about the coins in the American the Beautiful program.
“There are five new designs each year,” he said. “This new coin serves as a reminder that at a river-crossing established long before our country’s struggle for independence, in a West Virginia town that played an integral role in our nation’s Civil War, a diverse number of people and events came together to influence the course of our common history.”
Norton went on to say that he, a native of Paw Paaw, is “happy to share my pride with the entire nation.”
The ceremony concluded with the official “coin pour” where $500 worth of the new coins were dispensed by members of the park service. Following the conclusion of the event, every child, under age 18, who wished to receive a coin could get one.
Adults were able to purchase coins from staffers of Jefferson Security Bank who were onsite with rolls of the newly minted coin. Lines quickly formed as hundreds of individuals took advantage of the launch to secure possession of the quarter.
The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park quarter, designed by Thomas Hipschen, who was at the ceremony Wednesday, is the 33rd release in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The program is a 12-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites. Each year, five new sites are depicted on the reverses (tails sides) of the America the Beautiful quarters.
Other quarters for 2016 include Illinois, Shawnee National Forest; Kentucky, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and South Carolina, Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument).
The first quarter in the program was released in 1020 and featured Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.
More information on the America the Beautiful quarters can be found at www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/.