A dozen Iowans with ideas about what should be on the “state quarter” spoke out this morning at a public hearing at the statehouse. The State Quarter Commission is meeting to review the dozens of designs and ideas submitted for the coin. Rose Scarpino, a retired Des Moines school teacher, wants the quarter to honor Iowa State University professor John Vincent Atanasoff (at-an-ass’-off), inventor of the first electronic digital computer. Jerry Sullivan of Windsor Heights believes the state quarter should honor the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo who died when their World War II Navy ship was sunk. Sullivan is not related to the Sullivan brothers who died, but he says their sacrifice is an inspiration to many. Henry Williams of Harper says the quarter should emphasize the state’s prominent rivers. Phyllis Martens of Huxley believes the quarter design should feature a stalk of corn and a walking plow because John Deere originated in Iowa. Marie Bookey of Slater wants a John Deere tractor and a pig on the quarter. Delma Reece of Madrid warned the State Quarter Commission that hundreds would hate whichever designs they choose, while she said thousands would love ’em. Reece says Herbert Hoover, the only Iowan to be elected President, should be noted on the quarter. Bill Sherman of the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance urged that a sketch of the “Goldenrod School” in Clarinda be struck on the back of the state quarter. Sherman says the image of a one-room school would represent Iowa’s committment to education. The Goldenrod School is also where the 4-H movement was born. Chris Seuntjens who runs Christopher’s Rare Coins in Des Moines believes the state quarter should showcase Iowa agriculture. Seuntjens says the purpose of the state quarter program is to give states the ability to showcase their best attributes, and he says since Iowa truly feeds the world, the quarter should celebrate that.
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