This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The U.S. Mint released the Gettysburg National Military Park quarter with a ceremony held Jan. 25 at the park’s Museum and Visitor Center.
B.B. Craig, Mint associate director for sales and marketing, and Bob Kirby, park superintendent, co-hosted the event, with Barbara Finfrock, vice chairman of the Gettysburg Foundation, serving as master of ceremonies.
The event, which attracted 1,600 people including 300 students, also included appearances by Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Manbeck Corbett and the Gettysburg High School Civil War Ceremonial Brass Band.
The event included a coin exchange in which attendees swapped their cash for rolls of the new Gettysburg National Military Park quarter. About $57,000 was exchanged.
Those 18 years of age and younger received a new quarter to commemorate the event.
“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,” said Craig.
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.
The Gettysburg quarter is the first to be released in 2011 and the sixth in the America the Beautiful program, a multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.
The Gettysburg reverse design depicts the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, which is located on the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge. It was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
On Jan. 27, the Mint began offering to the public bags and rolls of the Gettysburg National Military Park quarter online at www.usmint.gov/catalog and via phone at 1-800 USA-MINT (872-6468).