On the 178th anniversary of its establishment as a Federally protected national site, the U.S. Mint launched the America the Beautiful Quarters Program with the launch at the Hot Sprints National Park in Arkansas. The ceremony was held at the park’s headquarters lead by U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy who was joined by National Park Service Midwest Regional Director Ernie Quintana and Hot Springs National Park Superintendent Josie Fernandez.

“It’s fitting that Hot Springs National Park, among the early lands set aside by the federal government to protect natural and cultural resources, be the first featured in the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters series,” Quintana said. “The release of this commemorative coin will bring about greater awareness of our national parks and emphasize the importance of continued protection and preservation of these natural, cultural and historical wonders for future generations.”

Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of congress on April 20, 1832, the first area of the United States protected in this manner. Prior to the passage of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916, lands that congress wanted protected were named national reservations and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Hot Springs was made a national park on March 4, 1921.

If you missed the live broadcast of the release, the U.S. Mint has provided the following highlights:

The U.S. Mint also released the following “official” images from the quarter give away:

Video courtesy of the U.S. Mint
Still images courtesy of the AP Images for the U.S. Mint

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