3,600 attend launch of Cumberland National Historical Park quarter dollar

Attendees exchange cash for $26,000 in rolled coins
By , Coin World
Published : 04/13/16
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The April 11 launch ceremony for the 2016 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park quarter dollar drew a crowd of 3,600 to the park's visitor center in Middlesboro, Ky.

Attendance reflected 2,700 area schoolchildren and 900 other members of the public. U.S. Mint photos from the event can be found here.

Following the official U.S. Mint ceremony, Home Federal Bank received cash in exchange for $26,000 face value in rolls of Uncirculated circulation-quality coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

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Hadden Landen and Makaya Patterson, both fourth-grade students at Middlesboro Elementary School, shared master-of-ceremony duties with J. Marc Landry, plant manager at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

"Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great break in the Appalachian Mountain chain, which gave passage to thousands seeking something new beyond the horizon," Landry said. "Millions of Americans will now have a reminder of the important role this mountain pass has played in the settlement of our nation."

Additional speakers included Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Superintendent Sula Jacobs; U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers; National Park Service Deputy Director Peggy O'Dell; and Stan Austin, director of the NPS's Southeast Region.

Highlighting the launch ceremony was the en masse swearing in of more than 2,200 junior rangers.

The Mint also hosted a coin forum at the C.V. Whitney Convention Center in Pine Mountain State Resort Park on April 10 where local residents gathered to express their views about future coinage and learn about upcoming Mint coin programs and initiatives. 

The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park quarter dollar is the 32nd release in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a 12-year initiative authorized by Public Law 110-456 to honor 56 national parks and other national sites in the 50 states, District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories — the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Each year, five new national sites are depicted on the reverses of the America the Beautiful quarters. The Mint is issuing the quarter dollars in the order in which the national sites were congressionally recognized.

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