Standing Liberty Quarters

The year was 1916. World World I was raging in Europe, and the political climate in the United States was definitely guarded. Nine years earlier, President Theodore Roosevelt had initiated using classical design motifs for our gold coins, and now, as the Coinage Act of 1890 had authorized, the smaller silver coins were eligible for changes. U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber’s “uninspired” design had marked the quarter, dime and half dollar for the preceding quarter century, and the public was ready for something different. It was the perfect opportunity to issue a coin that, as a contemporary government report put it, “was intended to typify in a measure the awakening interest of the country to its own protection.”