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Contact: Ben Sherman
News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey (NGS) helped launched the new “Westward Journey Nickel Series™“ Jefferson nickel that marks the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition with the placement of a commemorative geodetic marker at the United States Mint at Philadelphia today. The marker honors the mint for its production of the nation’s first new nickel in 66 years, and is part of a series of brass geodetic markers being placed by NOAA at sites nationwide that are important to the Lewis and Clark commemoration.
“This commemorative marker, which is now a permanent part of the United States Mint at Philadelphia, reflects our commitment to producing American coins that are both beautiful and educational,” said U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. “The Jefferson Peace Medal, which Lewis and Clark gave to Native Americans they met along the trail as a symbol of peace and friendship, is the image chosen for both this marker and the United States Mint’s first new nickel of the Westward Journey Nickel Series.”
Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher along with Charlie Challstrom, director of the National Geodetic Survey, joined director Fore at the United States Mint at Philadelphia to celebrate the placement of the “Corps of Discovery II” geodetic marker.
“NOAA takes great pride in its historical roots that date to the time of Lewis and Clark. The placement of this marker salutes their work in the early mapping and charting of the United States,” said Lautenbacher. “Today NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey continues to serve the nation by maintaining the National Spatial Reference System that provides the foundation for much of our economic infrastructure. Through a system of geodetic markers we provide a national coordinate system for transportation, communication and defense systems, boundary and property surveys, mapping and chartings, and a multitude of scientific engineering applications thereby continuing to fulfill the mission Thomas Jefferson directed to our predecessor agency, the Survey of the Coast office.”
The National Geodetic Survey has chosen to commemorate the historic partnership between the United States Mint and Lewis and Clark’s journey with these markers. A second marker will be placed at the United States Mint at Denver on Monday. The Geodetic Survey is honoring the United States Mint for its ongoing role in commemorating the Lewis and Clark expedition—from the Jefferson Peace Medals that the Mint produced in 1803 for the expedition; to the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, introduced in 2000; to the Lewis and Clark Expedition Commemorative Dollar Coin of 2004; and to the new Westward Journey Nickel Series.
The Federal Reserve Banks began shipping new nickels featuring the Peace Medal reverse (tails) design to the nation’s financial institutions on March 1. The new nickels should begin appearing in circulation during the next several weeks. The United States Mint at Philadelphia is producing about half of the nation’s circulating Westward Journey Nickel Series™ coins.
The second coin of the Westward Journey Nickel Series, bearing a Lewis and Clark keelboat design on the reverse will be released into circulation in August.
Following the ceremony, director Fore, undersecretary Lautenbacher and director Challstrom joined area officials and Mint personnel for a brief tour of the United States Mint at Philadelphia to see the new nickels being produced.
Created by Congress in 1792, the United States Mint is the manufacturer of legal tender coinage for the United States. In FY 2003, the United States Mint manufactured approximately 11.4 billion coins and generated revenue of $1.4 billion.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
On the Web:
National Geodetic Survey: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov
United States Mint: http://www.usmint.gov
Pictures of commemorative marker: