The 2021 America the Beautiful Quarters from the United States Mint is scheduled to only honor one location, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama.
2010 was the inaugural year for the 56-coin series, with minted coins released at a rate of 5 per year through 2020. This totals 55, leaving just one for the year 2021.
However, a stipulation in the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, which authorized the series, gives the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to extend the program past 2030. The decision must be made by 2018 (year 9 of the original program), and would create a second run of the quarter dollars operated in the same fashion as the first.
Chosen sites throughout the series are all of national interest, meaning the federal government has control of the location. One site from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US Territories is celebrated. The reverse of each new quarter features a design emblematic of the honored location. Final design selections for the 2021 quarter should be known by late 2020.
More information on the 2021 America the Beautiful Quarter and honored site can be found below:
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Quarter– Former slave Booker T. Washington created the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers in Alabama, which was later renamed the Tuskegee Institute. Among other things, the Institute had a flight program which greatly interested the U.S. Military.
Considered an experiment by many, the Army Air Corps started training African American men to be combat pilots in 1940. Before this time, they were not even allowed to fly US military aircraft. Overcoming prejudice and segregation, over 1,000 men at the institute excelled and became one of the most highly respected fighter groups of the war.
The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site honors these men and the accomplishments they achieved.
On the obverse of the quarter-dollar is a William Cousins’ modified version of John Flanagan’s George Washington portrait. Flanagan designed the initial portrait used on the first quarter dollar to showcase Washington back in 1932. A modified portrait by Cousins was first seen on the State Quarters in 1999.
The US Mint also strikes companion silver bullion pieces to the quarters which the Mint has dubbed the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Program. These coins contain five ounces of .999 fine silver. Each is 3 inches in diameter and depicts the same imagery as the quarters.
If for some reason the Secretary of the Treasury decides not to continue the program past 2021, the authorizing Act has a few requirements:
- The image on the obverse of the quarter dollar will revert back to the original John Flanagan portrait of Washington.
- The image on the reverse will show Washington crossing the Delaware before the Battle of Trenton.