The Alabama quarter's reverse features
Helen Keller with her name in English and Braille.
The Alabama quarter is the second quarter of 2003, and the 22nd in the 50
State Quarters® Program. Alabama became the 22nd state to be admitted into the
Union on December 14, 1819. The Alabama quarter design features an image of
Helen Keller with her name in English, and in a reduced-size version of
Braille. The Alabama quarter is the first U.S. circulating coin to feature
Braille. An Alabama long leaf pine branch and magnolias grace the sides of the
design, and a "Spirit of Courage" banner underlines the central image.
Helen Keller was born at "Ivy Green" in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in 1880. When
she was a small child, an illness destroyed her sight and hearing and,
consequently, depriving her of the senses by which we normally learn to speak.
Despite her disabilities, Helen Keller learned to speak and read using the
raised and manual alphabets, as well as Braille. Miss Keller also graduated
with honors, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe. She went on
to publish numerous books, articles and essays. Helen Keller lived out her life
addressing social issues for disabled persons and women. Every year at "Ivy
Green," a weeklong celebration is held to commemorate her lifetime of
accomplishments and her "Spirit of Courage."
In January 2001, Governor Don Siegelman announced a statewide competition
for Alabama schools to submit concepts for the Alabama quarter. Of the
thousands of concepts submitted, Governor Siegelman forwarded three to the
United States Mint: Helen Keller, Alabama's role in social movements, and
Alabama's social and economic history. The United States Mint returned five
candidate designs to the Governor's office where the final selection of Helen
Keller, "Spirit of Courage," was made.
To learn more about Alabama, visit http://www.state.al.us/