The Massachusetts state quarter shows a minuteman. Minutemen originated from the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the 17th century. At that time the young colony in Massachusetts had to be aware of attacks at all times, every able-bodied colonist was required to participate in his local militia. To support the fighting farmers and craftsmen in emergencies, particularly strong and brave young men from their ranks were especially trained and armed. These militiamen were called minutemen. They were supposed to be combat-ready at one minute's notice and thus always be the first to fight. Later, the name was applied to all American militia. Because of its location on the Cape Cod Bay Massachusetts' nickname is the Bay State. Next to the caption is the state's outline.