Launched in 1999, the 50 State Quarters Program was a 10-year initiative that honored each of the 50 states. The U.S. Mint issued five new quarters each year in the order that the states ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union.
The reverse (tails) of each quarter features a design related to that state. The obverse (heads) design shows the familiar portrait of George Washington used on the quarter since 1932. But the inscriptions previously used on the reverse – “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” “LIBERTY,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” – all appear on the obverse in order to accommodate the state designs.
In 2009, the Mint made six more quarter designs for Washington, DC and the five U.S. territories as part of the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program.