New Hampshire, a small New England state, is defined by its quaint towns and large expanses of wilderness. In January 1776 it became the first of the British North American colonies to establish a government independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain's authority and it was the first to establish its own state constitution. In a sense, New Hampshire, originally one of the thirteen colonies, "created" the new nation by becoming the ninth state on June 21, 1788, meeting the requirement for nine states to ratify the Constitution.
The New Hampshire quarter, the ninth coin released under the 50 State Quarters® Program, honors one of the state's most unique natural attractions, "The Old Man of the Mountain." The 50 State Quarter of New Hampshire was released on August 7, 2000, featuring "The Old Man of the Mountain" a distinctive rock formation on Mt. Cannon in the Franconia Notch gateway to northern New Hampshire. Until it crumbled in early 2003, the unique formation was one of the state's most popular attractions. Natural freeze and thaw cycles had weakened the formation over the years and extensive efforts to preserve the beloved landmark with chains, steel rods, concrete and weatherproofing were ultimately unsuccessful. Inscriptions: Live Free or Die and Old Man of the Mountain.
The New Hampshire quarter, the ninth coin released under the 50 State Quarters® Program, honors one of the state's most unique natural attractions, "The Old Man of the Mountain." The state motto, "Live free or die," and nine stars, signifying the fact that New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, complete the design.
"The Old Man of the Mountain" was a distinctive rock formation on Mt. Cannon in the Franconia Notch gateway to northern New Hampshire. From the right view, this unique rock formation - comprised of five layers of Conway red granite - depicted the distinct profile of an elderly man gazing eastward. Geographers believe that the layers of granite were formed by the melting and slipping away action of an ice sheet that covered the Franconia Mountains at the end of the glacial period 2,000 to 10,000 years ago. Until it crumbled in early 2003, the formation measured over 40 feet high with a lateral distance of 25 feet.
The "formation" of the New Hampshire quarter design began when New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen established a Commemorative Quarter Committee with representatives from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts Educators, Numismatics, Historical Societies, the Senate and House and New Hampshire citizens. The Committee held a competition to all New Hampshire residents to submit design concepts for the New Hampshire quarter. They even created a website to broadcast the selection process and other information about the program.
The final design concept selection honoring "The Old Man of the Mountain" was then forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury who gave final approval.
Source: United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program
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