Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Selected for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program
Contact: Mark Woods, Superintendent, (606) 248-2817
Coin will be thirty-second in a series released by the U.S. Mint
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (NHP) will be featured on a quarter-dollar produced by the U.S. Mint in 2016, which coincides with the National Park Service’s Centennial. It will be the thirty-second of 56 quarters issued in the recently announced America the Beautiful Quarters program. Approximately every ten weeks, starting in April of 2010, a new quarter depicting a national park or other federally preserved area will be released.
Mark Woods, Superintendent of Cumberland Gap NHP states that he and park staff were elated with the news. “Cumberland Gap NHP was authorized by Congress in 1940 to protect the nation’s first doorway to the west. Between 1775 and 1810, almost 300,000 pioneers from every walk of life - African American slaves, indentured servants, bankers, merchants, farmers - and numerous ethnic groups journeyed through the Gap as they headed into the frontier, dreaming of a better a life. Today, visitors can walk in the footsteps of these early pioneers, experiencing their fears, hopes and dreams. The Cumberland Gap truly represents the fortitude and strength of the American people.”
Congress authorized the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 to celebrate the nation’s legacy of conservation. The legislation recalls noteworthy steps in the nation’s preservation movement and quotes Theodore Roosevelt who said that nothing short of defending this country in wartime “compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendents than it is for us.”
The legislation directs the Mint to strike and issue 56 circulating quarter-dollars with reverse (tails side) designs showcasing a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. The quarters will be issued sequentially each year, in the order in which the featured area was first established as a national park or site.
The coins will feature 48 National Park Service areas, two U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges, and six U.S. Forest Service sites. The Mint worked in consultation with each jurisdiction’s governor or chief executive as well as Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to select the sites. The list was also approved by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner.
In addition to the coins for circulation, the Mint will produce collectable items including proof sets, silver proof sets, a five ounce silver bullion coin, coin bags, and coin rolls for each quarter. For more information about the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, please visit the United States Mint website.