Own a Striking Yellowstone National Park Silver Dollar Proof
Only available for one year, this limited-edition silver proof dollar commemorates the 125th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone, America’s first national park. The front of the coin pictures a spouting geyser and the back depicts a buffalo on the plains before a sunrise. Proofs are the finest coins produced by the US Mint. The proof blanks are specially treated and hand-polished and cleaned so the images are struck perfectly. They’re also struck at least twice, which results in a frosted and highly-detailed design and mirror-like background. Truly stunning!
U.S. Mint Coin Marks Park’s 125th Anniversary
The first significant exploration of Yellowstone occurred in 1869, led by David E. Folsom, Charles W. Cook, and William Peterson. Their expedition lasted about a month, during which time they measured the heights of the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. Most newspapers doubted their credibility and refused to publish their stories.
The following year, Surveyor General of Montana Henry D. Washburn used information collected from the previous trip to form his own expedition of 19 men. These included Nathaniel P. Langford, Truman Everts, and military escort Gustavus C. Doane. Within two weeks, they came across “boiling sulphur springs” that were too hot to touch, even wearing gloves, and they knew all the rumors were true.
Upon their return, some of the men wrote articles about what they witnessed. Nathaniel Langford was by far the most active in spreading the word about Yellowstone. In addition to publishing “Wonders of the Yellowstone” in Scribner’s Monthly illustrated magazine, Langford set out on a series of lectures promoting the area in 1871.
During one of these lectures, Ferdinand V. Hayden, who had gone on a brief 1859 expedition and was currently head of the US Geological Survey, was inspired to arrange another survey. Hayden successfully lobbied Congress to fund the Hayden Geological Survey, which included geologists, zoologists, botanists, other scientists, photographer William H. Jackson, and artist Thomas Moran. They collected hundreds of specimens, notes, photos, and sketches.
When they returned, Hayden compiled all the information and images into a detailed report he used to convince Congress to reserve the area as a National Park. Hayden believed in “setting aside the area as a pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and warned that there were people that would come and “make merchandise of these beautiful specimens.” Hayden, along with Langford and Montana territory delegate William Clagett, personally visited each member of Congress in what has been called “the most intensive canvass that had ever been accorded a piece of pending legislation.” They delivered each Congressman a bound portfolio with captioned photos.
Hayden’s efforts paid off on March 1, 1872, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation establishing Yellowstone National Park, 18 years before Wyoming would achieve statehood. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed legislation forming the National Park Service (NPS).
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