Bicentennial quarter: drummer boy
This quarter was released on the bicentennial of the independence of the USA in 1976. It shows the figure of George Washington on the obverse and a drummer boy on the reverse. The drummer boy was a feature of the rebel continental army whose position was more important that what seems at first glance.
The position of a fifer or drummer was not necessarily an easy one to fill. They were expected to learn the many tunes played in the army, from popular melodies like "Roslyn Castle" to practical beats such as "Water Call" or "Roast Beef." In an eighteenth century army music was used to transmit orders and to regulate the daily routine of the soldiers. In camp the reveille and tattoo denoted the beginning and end of the soldier's day. Other calls signaled the men to assemble for meals or for detachments to gather wood and water. If the army was ordered to march the routine of the troops prior to setting off, and the accompanying music, was adjusted accordingly. While on the move music provided a cadence to regulate the rate of march, and in battle drums and fifes could transmit or supplement the commands of the officers and would hopefully bolster the morale of the soldiers to some degree.
Washington quarter dollar, 1977
The current quarter is nickel plated copper (8.33% Ni with the remainder Cu), weighs 5.670 grams , diameter 0.955 inches (24.26 mm), width 1.75 millimeters with a reeded edge.Before 1965, quarters contained 90% silver, 10% copper. The current regular quarter dollar has the image of the first president George Washington on the obverse, and and eagle on the reverse. This quarter was continued until 1999 when the state quarter program was started.