A few years ago we wrote this rather angry missive to the U.S. Mint, complaining of how few of the special state quarters included American heroes. (Only eight of 50 states featured proud native sons or daughters. Wisconsin preferred a cow, Montana a cow skull. Pathetic.)
But we’ve just discovered that the District of Columbia has its own quarter, and came through with… Duke Ellington! Yeah!
We got one with change from a Snickers bar yesterday.
Turns out that after the original 50 state quarters were released from 1999-2008, the U.S. Mint tacked on an extra run of DC and the territories: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Island, and the Northern Marianas.
The Duke Ellington quarter was released in 2009 and is, in our view, a big fat classy hit. The sculptor is Don Everhart.
The other territories followed in the flaccid footsteps of the states, alas. Here’s a typical effort, from the Northern Marianas:
Birds and boats — bah!