U.S. Mint; Saratoga National Historical Park Put New Coin in Circulation
SCHUYLERVILLE – A United States Quarter, commemorating the British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, is now in circulation.
With an official “coin pour” at a Quarter Launch ceremony at a packed Schuylerville High School auditorium on Tuesday, November 17, the 30th coin released as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, was officially put into use.
Participants and attendees included hundreds of schoolchildren, who learned about the historic and local context of the event depicted on the coin, which many believe was the “Turning Point” of the Revolutionary War, eventually enabling the colonies to achieve independence from the British Empire. The quarter's reverse (tails side) depicts a close-up of the moment British General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to American General Horatio Gates.
Saratoga National Historical Park (SNHP) Ranger and Historian Eric Schnitzer added some historical nuggets that may have been news to many in the audience regardless of age. The surrender in 1777 was the first time the British had done so anywhere. The surrender also led to the first official day of Thanksgiving, which that year was celebrated on December 18. Schnitzer added that the Battle of Saratoga was the first event to be featured twice on U.S. currency (having originally appeared on a $500 Federal note that is no longer circulated and extremely rare), and the first event to be depicted on both paper currency and a coin.
Following the presentation of colors by the SNHP Color Guard, students from Schuylerville High School, its symphonic band and vocal ensemble participated at several points throughout the program: leading the Pledge of Allegiance, performing the National Anthem and America the Beautiful, and other patriotic numbers.
SNHP Superintendent Amy Bracewell and Acting Quality Manager Ron Harrigal from the U.S. Mint, poured the newly minted quarters to officially launch the new coin. All students and attendees under age 18 were presented with a new quarter, and the public was given the opportunity to be among the first in the Nation to get brand new quarters during a coin exchange, conducted by Glens Falls National Bank, that was held after the ceremony.