- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - At the Homestead National Monument in southeast Nebraska, officials are already planning to celebrate next year’s release of a quarter celebrating the Homestead Act.

The Beatrice Daily Sun reports (https://bit.ly/1wSA2jl ) a series of events celebrating the coin’s launch is being planned at the Homestead Education Center on Feb. 9 and at Beatrice High School on Feb. 10.

“I think that it’s going to be beautiful and I can’t wait for the Homestead to be in people’s pockets throughout the United States,” said Mark Engler, park superintendent for Homestead National Monument of America.

The monument celebrates the Homestead Act of 1862 that distributed more than 270 million acres in 160-acre plots of land.

The Feb. 9 event will feature experts from the U.S. Mint discussing coin collecting.

The Beatrice event the next day will offer attendees a chance to buy the quarter depicting a cabin, water pump and two ears of corn before it is available at banks, and everyone there under 18 will receive a quarter.

“This is a way for us to celebrate Homestead, our community and our state,” Engler said. “I hope that in 10 years, 20 years, kids will look back at these little treasures and it’s a fond memory for them.”

In the afternoon of Feb. 10, the quarter launch event will continue at the monument before moving to Lincoln that evening. The coin will be introduced during the Nebraska men’s basketball game against Wisconsin.

“We hope it’s a state thing and a national thing,” Engler said. “I really think it’s a cool thing for Homestead to get to represent our area. Really, I’m honored.”

And Beatrice officials hope the coin’s arrival will bring some attention to their corner of the state.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s important to remember that this quarter is a marketing piece,” said Lora Young, director of the Beatrice Area Chamber.

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com


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