An estimated 2,600 people, including 2,000 area school students,
attended the U.S. Mint’s Aug. 30 launch ceremony in Mississippi for
the 2011 Vicksburg National Military Park quarter dollar.
The ceremony and subsequent coin exchange were held a day after
the Vicksburg National Military Park quarter dollar was released into
circulation through the Federal Reserve and offered in bags and rolls
by the United States Mint.
U.S. Mint Chief of Staff Al Runnels presided over the festivities,
with remarks also delivered by Michael Madell, superintendent of
Vicksburg National Military Park.
“America the Beautiful quarters are a standing invitation for all
Americans to come along on a journey to each national site,” Runnels
said. “Today’s launch starts the journey of the Vicksburg National
Military Park quarters as they pass from American hand to American
hand, connecting America through coins.”
The Vicksburg coin represents the ninth release in the scheduled
56-coin America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
Vicksburg National Military Park was first established as a
national historic site on Feb. 21, 1899 (31 Stat. 841).
Participants at the event acquired $18,700 in 2011-P Vicksburg
quarter dollars in $10 face value rolls of 40 coins each in exchange
Aug. 30. Trustmark Bank in Vicksburg sponsored the roll exchange.
Those 18 years of age and younger received a free quarter dollar
from the U.S. Mint to commemorate the event.
The U.S. Mint also hosted a collector forum the evening of Aug. 29
at the park’s visitors center where U.S. coinage issues and U.S. Mint
coin initiatives and programs were discussed by participants.
The reverse of the 2011 Vicksburg National Military Park quarter
dollar was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master
Designer Thomas Cleveland and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic
Sculptor Joseph F. Menna. It depicts the USS Cairo ironclad warship on
the Yazoo River as it would have been seen when it served the Union
Navy during the Civil War.
Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates one of the pivotal
battles of the Civil War — the campaign, siege and defense of
Vicksburg’s surrender on July 4, 1863, coupled with the fall of
Port Hudson, La., split the South, giving control of the Mississippi
River to the North.
The museum exhibits at the park depict the hardships of civilians
and soldiers during the 47-day siege of the city. More than 1,350
monuments, a national cemetery and the restored Union ironclad
gunboat, USS Cairo, mark a 16-mile tour road that winds through the park.
The USS Cairo was the first warship sunk by an electrically
detonated torpedo, which ushered in a new age of naval warfare.
To order any of the numismatic products offered by the U.S. Mint
containing the Vicksburg National Military Park quarter dollar in
circulation-quality, Proof and Uncirculated Mint set finishes, visit
the Mint’s online catalog at www.usmint.gov/catalog or
call the order line at 800-872-6468.
Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may
order at 1-888-321-6468. ■