A historic event took place in Middlesboro, Kentucky today as Congressman Hal Rogers joined National Park Service (NPS) rangers and leaders from the U.S. Mint to unveil a new quarter featuring the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. It is the 32nd coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
"It's so exciting to have this local historical landmark featured on a U.S. coin that will be exchanged across the world," said Congressman Rogers. "It is my hope that folks will want to learn more about Daniel Boone and the early pioneers' journey along the Wilderness Trail and through original gateway to the west. We want them to read about and visit this wonderful place that we call home."
Two fourth grade students from Middlesboro Elementary, Hattie Landen and Makaya Patterson, served as masters of ceremony with more than 2,200 students in attendance from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
"This is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service," said Sula Jacobs, Park Superintendent. "There's no better way to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates than by hosting a fun-filled, educational event into which visitors will be able to totally immerse themselves."
Rogers launched the new quarter along with Superintendent Jacobs, NPS Deputy Director Peggy O'Dell and U.S. Mint Philadephia Plant Manager Marc Landry by pouring the coins through a display of the Cumberland Gap and the United States.
To help commemorate the new quarter, the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park hosted hundreds of pioneer re-enactors, replicas of clothing, powder horns and other goods from the years 1750 to 1840, with an estimated 10,000 visitors during the three-day celebration.
Rogers and other leaders at the event handed out some of the newly minted quarters to students in attendance.