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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

USA state quarters - IX

Nebraska state quarter
usa nebraska state quarterNebraska, nicknamed the "Cornhusker State," was admitted into the Union on March 1, 1867, becoming our Nation's 37th state. Nebraska's quarter depicts an ox-drawn covered wagon carrying pioneers in the foreground and Chimney Rock, the natural wonder that rises from the valley of North Platte River, measuring 445 feet from base to tip. The sun is in full view behind the wagon. The coin also bears the inscriptions "Nebraska," "Chimney Rock" and "1867".

Chimney Rock was designated a National Historic Site on August 9, 1956, and is maintained and operated by the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Practically anywhere travelers go in Nebraska they will encounter reminders of America's westward expansion. The state is crisscrossed by the Oregon and Mormon Trails, the Pony Express, the Lewis and Clark Trail, the Texas-Ogallala Trail and the Sidney-Deadwood Trail.

Montana state quarter
usa montana state quarterMontana, nicknamed "Big Sky Country," was admitted into the Union on November 8, 1889, becoming our Nation's 41st state. The reverse of Montana's quarter features a bison skull depicted above the diverse Montana landscape with the inscription "Big Sky Country." The coin also bears the inscriptions "Montana" and "1889."

The bison skull is a powerful symbol, sacred to many of Montana's American Indian tribes. This symbol can be seen across the State on schools, businesses and license plates, and reflects the rich native tradition of Montana, which was once home to large tribes such as the Crow and the Northern Cheyenne. After a visit from Lewis and Clark, Montana became a destination first for fur trappers and later for gold prospectors following the discovery of gold in the 1860s. Cattle ranchers also made their way west to Montana. This rapid growth in population led to boomtowns. The nickname "Big Sky Country" reminds residents of Montana's open lands and pioneering way.

Missouri state quarter
usa missouri state quarterMissouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821, as a part of the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri quarter depicts Lewis and Clark's historic return to St. Louis down the Missouri River, with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) in the background. The quarter is inscribed "Corps of Discovery 1804-2004".

While much of the state's history is tied to the mighty rivers that flow through it, the "Show Me State" got its nickname because of the devotion of its people to simple common sense. In 1899, Rep. Willard D. Vandiver said, "Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri. You've got to show me." It is easy to imagine President Thomas Jefferson saying "show me" as he sent Lewis and Clark forth on their trek into the uncharted Louisiana Purchase territory. Their 8,000-mile journey westward and back, which some claim was the greatest U.S. military expedition ever, began in St. Charles, Missouri just 20 miles west of St. Louis, in 1804 and ended when they returned to St. Louis, Missouri in 1806.

Note: A special series of nickels(5 cents) was released on the Lewis and Clarke expedition from 2004 to 2006.

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