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Contact: Virginia DuBowy, 601-619-2911
The United States Mint and National Park Service cordially invite the public to attend the release of the "America the Beautiful Quarter®" honoring Mississippi and Vicksburg on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, at Vicksburg National Military Park.
The Vicksburg coin, to be distributed nationally, features the U.S.S. Cairo on its obverse, and is the ninth coin released in this series dedicated to America's most scenic and historic places. Vicksburg was chosen by the Mississippi Legislature to represent the state, and the image of the U.S.S. Cairo was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. Depiction of this historic icon on the quarter emphasizes the crucial importance of control of the Mississippi River to both the Union and the Confederate armies during the American Civil War, the contributions of the U.S. Navy in the Vicksburg Campaign, and Vicksburg's role as the ultimate turning point of the war. The U.S.S. Cairo, a U.S. Navy (Union) ironclad river gunboat, was sunk by Confederates in the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg on December 12, 1862. She was raised on December 12, 1964, and is on permanent display, along with all artifacts salvaged, at Vicksburg National Military Park.
The ceremonial release of the coin will be from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the U.S.S. Cairo Exhibit and Museum in the park. A coin exchange will follow the dedication ceremony where visitors may exchange cash for the newly minted coin. Quarters will be available in $10.00 rolls only, with a maximum exchange of 10 rolls per person. In addition, a coin forum will be held on Monday evening, August 29, 2011, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the park's Visitor Center at 3201 Clay Street.
Due to expected high attendance at Tuesday's ceremony, there will be no onsite parking at the U.S.S. Cairo museum. Parking will be provided in designated areas along Union and Confederate Avenues within the park, and shuttle buses will transport visitors to and from the event. Shuttles will begin service at 7:15 a.m. and run every 15 minutes. Visitors may enter through either the Clay Street or Fort Hill entrance gates, where they will be directed towards parking by staff. Carpooling is highly recommended. The event will be held "rain or shine," and it is also recommended that attendees bring water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Seating will be limited, and be on a "first-come, first-served" basis.
More information on the event is available online at: www.nps.gov/vick, and you can learn more about the "America the Beautiful Quarter®" series, including coin and launch events at www.americathebeautifulquarters.gov .
The Visitor Center on Clay Street will open at 6:30 p.m., Monday, August 29th, for the coin forum. The Clay Street and Fort Hill entrances gates will open at 7:00 a.m. on August 30th prior to the quarter release ceremony. Park admission is waived for both events; however, for those wishing to tour the park after the event on Tuesday, the normal entrance fee of $8.00 per vehicle will apply.
If you have additional questions, please contact the park at 601-636-0583. Please join us for this historic event!