The first 25-cent coin released in 2015 was the Homestead National Monument of America Quarter for Nebraska. Produced as part of the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, it is the 26th issue since the series debut in 2010.
It was released into circulation on February 9, 2015, and the U.S. Mint (www.usmint.gov) on February 24, 2015 started selling rolls and bags of them from its production facilities in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
The reverse or tails side of the quarter has a design emblematic of the Homestead National Monument of America. It represents the three fundamentals of survival common to all homesteaders: food, shelter, and water. Inscriptions around the image read: "HOMESTEAD," "NEBRASKA," "2015," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM." This design was selected by the Secretary of the Treasury from among a dozen design candidates.
A portrait of the first President of the United States, George Washington, is on the obverse or heads side of the Homestead quarter. This same portrait, in fact, is on the obverse of all America the Beautiful coins and was first seen on the 1932 circulating quarter-dollar. It was originally designed by John Flanagan.
Upcoming 2015 quarters include the Kisatchie National Forest Quarter (Louisiana), the Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter (North Carolina), the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter (Delaware), and the Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter (New York).
Nebraska’s Homestead National Monument of America
The Homestead National Monument of America recalls the importance of the Homestead Act which gave pioneers the opportunity to move westward through the United States. On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman was the first person to submit an application, filing just a few minutes after the Act went into effect.
At the time, individuals who filed an application for a homestead only needed to make improvements on the land and then file for a deed of title. 160 acres was given to each person, a size that was difficult to maintain in the mid-1800s. As technology advanced, so did the Homestead Act, which began giving out larger land portions. In 1976, however, the Homestead Act was officially repealed by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
Today, there is a monument on the very homestead where Daniel Freeman lived. There is a Heritage Center for visitors to stop by and a small portion of the Tallgrass Prairie to see what many of the original homestead owners saw when they first moved west.