In 2015, the first United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program strike for the year will be the 2015 Homestead National Monument of America Quarter. It also numbers 26 out of 56 new coins that will be issued under the program which launched in 2010 and runs until 2021.
Collectors will have to wait until at least 2014 to find out what the Homestead coin will look like. Sometime during that year, the Mint should be releasing design candidates for the strike to the appropriate parties so that they may be reviewed and commented on before the final selection is made. Then, sometime before the coin is actually released in early 2015, the Mint will make that decision public.
As the first quarter of the year, it will likely be released in the first few months of 2015. Then, the remaining four quarters of 2015 will be issued at intervals throughout the remaining year.
Additional 2015 America the Beautiful Quarter releases for the year include:
- Kisatchie National Forest Quarter
- Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter
- Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter
- Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter
Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska
Through the Homestead Act of 1862, free land was available for the taking in the undeveloped territories of United States. All an interested individual had to do was file an application, make improvements to the land, and then file for a deed of title.
One of, if not the first individual to file a homestead claim was Daniel Freeman. Stories tell of him filing a mere 10 minutes after midnight on January 1, 1863 at the Land Office in Brownville, Nebraska. This was the first day in which the Act went into effect.
Accordingly, his homestead is now the site of the National Monument dedicated to the rugged individuals who pursued land ownership under the Homesteading Laws. Aside from the unique Heritage Center on property, visitors are also able to see a small tract of Tallgrass Prairie as it would have been in the days when Freeman arrived.
In total, approximately 270 million acres of land (approximately 10% of the total land of the United States) was given away at no charge under the Homestead Act. The only cost associated to it other than the labor and improvements required was an $18 filing fee.