The US Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program begins its second to last year with the 2019 America the Beautiful Quarters. The coins released, the location of the site, and the order they will be available during the year follow:
Massachusetts – 2019 Lowell National Historical Park Quarter
Northern Mariana Islands – 2019 American Memorial Park Quarter
These five coins are part of the 56-coin series dedicated to the beauty of the United States. Each coin in the series bears an image on its reverse of a site of interest — a national park or other national site, with one selected from every state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. Territories. Final design selections should be announced for the 2019 quarters very early into the year, or very late into 2018.
More information on the 2019 America the Beautiful Quarter sites follows:
Lowell National Historical Park
Honoring the American Industrial Revolution, especially as it related to the textile industry, the Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts was created by Congress in 1978.
In the early 1800’s, enterprising individuals planned an industrial center along the Merrimack River. Plans called for sprawling complexes full of green spaces and open dormitories that would be a beacon to workers around the world. The plans succeeded and immigrants and citizens from other states flocked to work in the mills, especially young women.
Utilizing the power of the Merrimack River for its factories, Lowell was a center of commerce until the middle of the 20th century. Several decades of neglect followed, but a revitalization effort gained ground in the 1970’s leading to the Park we find today.
American Memorial Park
Commemorating a battle seen as the beginning of the end of the Pacific portion of World War II, the American Memorial Park was established in 1978 on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.
When American forces battled for possession of the island in June of 1944, they probably did not know the importance of that location. At a cost of thousands of lives (both American and local islanders), the Marianas Campaign proved successful in cutting off supply and communication channels for many Japanese forces.
It also provided access for the American B-29 bombers to strike the Japan Mainland leading to the end of the War.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park
Honoring the bravery and sacrifices of all who participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II, the War In the Pacific National Historical Park is located in several locations on the island of Guam.
Guam itself was captured by Japanese forces in 1941 and would not be liberated until 1944 when American forces invaded. The Memorial Wall at Asan Bay Overlook contains the names of over 16,000 Americans and Chamorro (indigenous peoples) who suffered or died during the war on Guam.
While the park itself is a reminder of a horrific chapter in world history, the pristine beaches and turquoise waters return a sense of peace to all who visit.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Located in San Antonio, Texas, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park contains four of the five missions established in the area in the late 1600 and early 1700’s.
These missions were the work of Catholic orders who planned on converting the local Native American population to Christianity through their teachings. They were also considered part of the colonization of the country of Spain who controlled the region during this time.
The Park consists of Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada as well as Espada Aqueduct. The aqueduct was built in 1731 by Franciscan friars to bring water to the fields around Mission Espada.
Frank Church River of No Returns Wilderness
Located in Idaho and created in 1980, the Frank Church River of No Returns Wilderness is the largest contiguous area of protected wilderness in the continental United States at 2.3 million acres.
Inside the wilderness area, visitors find mountainous landscapes including deep canyons and white-water rivers. The Salmon River Canyon is one of the deepest gorges in the United States, with a depth larger than the Grand Canyon, but without the sheer walls.
The name of the area has two origins. First, the Salmon River was called the River of No Returns by early settlers who could navigate down the river, but were unable to make it back up due to the rapids. Frank Church was a US Senator who was instrumental in the protection of the area.
More quarter design details follow:
John Flanagan’s portrait will still be featured on the obverse (heads side) of each quarter as it has been since 1932. For these coins, however, the United States Mint uses a version of the portrait which was modified by William Cousins. This was first seen on the 50-State Quarters which premiered in 1999 and ran until 2008.
An America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin Program was also authorized by Congress under the same act which mandated the quarter dollars (the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008). These bullion coins will be massive in comparison to most other coins. They will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. Each bullion coin will feature the same designs as the Mint will strike on the quarter dollars.