TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WIAT) — The newest state quarter recognizes everyone who were part of Alabama’s Tuskegee Airmen.
Quarters honoring nearly 1,000 Black pilots and more than 15,000 support staffers were put into circulation Monday by the U.S. Mint.
“It is fitting that such a significant historic site will complete this successful coin program,” U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder said in a press release. “The Mint is proud to honor the men and women who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II.”
Tuskegee Mayor Lawrence F. Haygood Jr. said that as more people receive these coins, they would hopefully bring more people to their city.
“We want to share with the world so that they can understand the roots of what happened in our country,” Haygood said. “How we got to where we where. You have people like Fred D. Grey who contributed, brought Martin Luther King Jr. here, Rosa Parks is from here.”
Tuskegee University archivist Dana Chandler said these coins honoring the Airmen’s story should be a motivating reminder to Alabamians and all Americans.
“Maybe this will say to that youngster, out there – it doesn’t matter who that youngster is – White or Black – maybe I can do this too,” Chandler said.
The historic coinage is the last in the treasury’s ‘America the Beautiful’ state coin series. The coin was originally scheduled to begin in production in February, but because of the ongoing coin shortage in the United States, they’re being pumped into circulation now.