Collecting Treasures: America the Beautiful Quarters 2011
The 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters Program provides five coins which encourage collectors to learn about history. They are treasures to collect and admire.
Children and adults can be encouraged to learn about history by collecting and researching coins. The images depicted on the 2011 America the Beautiful quarters are perfect examples of this type of persuasion.
Two of the quarters honor military parks which were founded to commemorate the battles and soldiers of America’s Civil War. Another quarter depicts a bridge dedicated in 1909 to celebrate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The other two quarters of the 2011 series illustrate scenes from national parks which are committed to preserving the land. Further study into any one of these coin’s locations would reveal a rich history. Together, they share the sculpting of land by not only glaciers, but also the sculpting of a unified country with a fight for freedom for all men.
Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter
The first quarter issued in 2011 honors Gettysburg National Military Park and is sixth in the planned series of fifty-six. The America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which began with the first set in 2010, issues five new coins each year in the order the honored sites on the coins were established. Gettysburg National Military Park became a national site on February 11, 1895 and represents the state of Pennsylvania.
On the reverse side of the quarter, a person observes the depiction of the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument. A cannon sits to the right of the monument in front. The memorial is located on Cemetery Ridge and is one of many seen on the national park’s grounds. The battles fought here were a turning point for the Civil War and were important to American history. The coin’s image is meant to inspire interest into this significant event and park.
Glacier National Park Quarter
The second coin of 2011 features a different kind of shaping of America’s country. This coin honors Glacier National Park in Montana and shares a landscape cut and gouged by glaciers many thousands of years ago. Visitors of the park can still see small remnants of the once grand glaciers. The coin illustrates a mountain goat gazing down into the carved valley. Mount Reynolds remains high in the background.
The mountains in the park were noted by the explorers of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806. This famed exploration of the west was honored by its own set of coins in 2004. The Westward Journey nickels offer a glimpse of that expansion into the west.
Olympic National Park Quarter
Another striking mountain rises in the background on the third quarter of 2011. Mount Olympus is featured on the coin honoring Olympic National Park in Washington. An elk, standing alongside the Hoh River, is positioned in front. The beauty of the wilderness is conveyed on this quarter, and like all the quarters in the program, the honored site, year of minting, state, and E Pluribus Unum are also displayed on the reverse side of the coin.
Vicksburg National Military Park Quarter
The Vicksburg National Military Park quarter was the fourth quarter released in 2011. The park was established in 1899 and represents the state of Mississippi. It commemorates the vital battle of Vicksburg which was fought during the Civil War. Interestingly, this fight for the Mississippi River took place at the same time of the Gettysburg battle (honored on the first 2011 quarter). Both of these Union victories marked the turning point for the war and the country. The scene on the coin displays the U.S.S Cairo on the Yazoo River.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter
The last quarter issued in 2011 honors Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma. The coin portrays a picturesque setting of the Lincoln Bridge which was dedicated in 1909. The date celebrated the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. President Lincoln was instrumental in the Civil War and for the belief of all men created equal. Although not officially stated, the Lincoln Bridge could signify the coming together of the country.
The America the Beautiful quarters continues with the 2012 quarters and on until 2021. As the United States Mint issues new coins throughout the coming years, the beauty and history of America’s coinage expands. As people take time to consider the images portrayed on their money, appreciation and knowledge for the nation in which they live can be realized.
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