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Five new quarters will be issued by the U.S every year for a period of ten years in the order that the states joined the union. A new coin will be issued every 2 1/2 months. Each of these quarters will bear a symbol from each of the 50 states on the reverse and George Washington on the obverse side.

As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, D'Amato authored legislation authorizing 50 new types of 25-cent pieces over the next ten years. Under HR 3793, otherwise known as the "50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act," the U.S. Mint will produce five new commemorative quarters in each of the next ten years, each featuring a different U.S. state. What distinguishes this program from other commemorative coin programs is that the new quarters will circulate alongside the rest of the coins already circulating. There hasn’t been a major change in circulating U.S. coinage since the Eisenhower dollar began production in 1971.
In 1975-76 Congress celebrated the American Bicentennial with new designs on the back of the Washington quarter, Kennedy half and Eisenhower dollar. Next, Congress retired the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar program of 1979-81.

Historically, American coins were actually proposed for this country in 1792, when the Mint Act called for coins to bear the image and name of the current president. But George Washington was too modest a man for that, and he stopped the plan. As a result, Washington's portrait didn't appear on any widely-circulating coins until 1932, the 200th anniversary of his birth. Only a few English-made coppers in the late 1700s, a commemorative dollar in 1900 and a half dollar in 1926 had Washington's likeness before that. The 1932 Washington quarter was designed by Laura Gardin Fraser. Fraser sculpted a strong, right-facing bust for the obverse and a mighty eagle for the reverse. However, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon refused to let a woman design a U.S. coin and he vetoed the recommendation of the Fine Arts Commission in favor of an unremarkable design by sculptor John Flanagan who copied a marble bust by French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon. For the reverse, Flanagan designed a flat eagle. The Fine Arts Commission judged Flanagan's entry "unacceptable," but Mellon's decision was final.

The 1932 Washington quarter was intended to be a one-year-only issue. But the quarter that preceded it, the Standing Liberty, was very disliked so the Washington quarter remained.

Now, the five new coins in each of the next ten years will be minted. Starting in 1999, each state will be honored on its own coin with the first five historic coins being Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut . The remaining states will be honored in the following order: 1999 Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut; 2000 Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia; 2001 New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky; 2002 Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi; 2003 Illinois, Alabama, Maine, Missouri, Arkansas; 2004 Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin; 2005 California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia; 2006 Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota; 2007 Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah; 2008 Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii.