The 2011 Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter represented the sixth overall release within the new circulating commemorative quarter dollar series. The America the Beautiful Quarters Program honors National Parks and sites from each of the states and territories, presented in the order originally federally designated.
When the site selection for Pennsylvania was announced by the United States Mint, the Governor remarked, “Gettysburg National Military Park – the nation’s most visited Civil War battlefield — is deeply moving and yet extremely beautiful park and a true national and Pennsylvania treasure.”
The United States Mint had prepared four initial design candidates for the Gettysburg Quarter, which were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The CCAC spent the greater portion of an entire meeting discussing the designs due to the importance of Gettysburg as the turning point of the Civil War. After much deliberation, they supported a design representing Pickett’s Charge.
This was the design ultimately selected by the Secretary of the Treasury. The 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge is the central focus of the design. Surrounding inscriptions include “Gettysburg”, “Pennsylvania”, “2011”, and “E Pluribus Unum”.
On the obverse of the coin is a portrait of George Washington common to all issues of the series with the inscriptions “United States of America”, “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and “Quarter Dollar”.
The Gettysburg National Park Quarter was officially released on January 24, 2011. The coins were issued for circulation and sold directly by the United States Mint incorporated into various numismatic products.
About Gettysburg National Military Park
The purpose of national parks is to preserve an area that is special so that it can be enjoyed by future generations. Although many of these national areas are wild and untouched by human hands and meant to teach us about the importance of preserving nature, some are meant to teach us about the bravery and dedication of the Americans that have come before us. Gettysburg National Military Park is the site of an important turning point in he Civil War.
In the summer of 1863, General Robert E. Lee was planning a second and even more aggressive attack on the Union troops that were stationed in the North. Few people realize that Lee’s army was gaining momentum at this point in the war, and many people thought that his attack on Gettysburg would be successful, and the Confederacy might win the war. The Union soldiers stationed at Gettysburg had other ideas. In one of the bloodiest battles in the entire war, with over fifty thousand people dead, Union soldiers stood strong and prevailed.
After this historic battle, President Abraham Lincoln stood at Gettysburg to deliver his famous “Gettysburg Address” which still inspires Americans to protect their country today. It would not be until 1895 when concerned citizens would remind the government of the important events that took place on the field at Gettysburg, that the site would be established as Gettysburg National Military Park.
Gettysburg National Park Quarter Launch Ceremony
The United States Mint hosted a launch ceremony for the Gettysburg Quarter on January 25, 2011, one day following the circulation release date. In attendance were United States Mint Associate Director for Sales and Marketing B.B. Craig, Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Bob Kirby, and chair of the Gettysburg Foundation Barbara Finfrock.
“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 B.B. Craig.
An enthusiastic public audience was on hand for the event, which enjoyed a performance by the Gettysburg High School Civil War Ceremonies Brass Band. Attendees were able to exchange currency for rolls of the new quarters and children aged 18 and younger received a free coin.