The official launch ceremony for the 2013 Fort McHenry National
Monument and Historic Shrine quarter dollar is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Sept. 13 at the restored military installation at 2400 E. Fort Ave. in Baltimore.
The U.S. Mint-sponsored ceremony will be followed by a coin
exchange in which the public can exchange cash for $10 rolls of the
new Uncirculated quarter dollars struck for circulation.
The 2013 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
quarter dollar — the 19th of 56 to be issued under the America the
Beautiful Quarters Program — is set to be released into circulation on
The coin’s reverse design, created and sculptured by U.S. Mint
Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna, reflects the site during the
Defenders’ Day celebration, considered the centerpiece annual event
held at Fort McHenry. The fireworks symbolize the “rockets’ red
glare,” linking the fort to its historic past.
Sept. 12, Defenders’ Day, is a legal holiday in the state of
Maryland. It marks the successful defense of the city of Baltimore
beginning on Sept. 12, 1814, from an invading British force during the
War of 1812.
Fort McHenry is best known for its prominent role in the
successful defense of Baltimore Harbor from an attack by Britain’s
Royal Navy in Chesapeake Bay Sept. 13 and 14, 1814.
two-day bombardment, Francis Scott Key was
inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which would eventually
become the lyrics set to the tune of Ralph Tomlinson’s “To Anacreon in
Heaven” and become the U.S. national anthem.
According to the National Park Service: “Fort McHenry was
constructed between 1799 and 1802. It was in the shape of a
five-pointed star, which was a popular design during the period. Each
point of the star was visible from the point on either side and every
area of land surrounding the fort could be covered with as few as five men.”
Major improvements to the historic garrison were made during the 1830s.
Congress statutorily recognized Fort McHenry on March 3, 1925,
when the installation was known as Fort McHenry National Park. The
site was renamed Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine by
Act of Aug. 11, 1939. ■