US Mint's New Quarter Series Will Feature Prominent American Women


CCSS NCSS-9 400 Words 3-Minute Listen
The first coins in the American Women's Quarter Series will feature Maya Angelou and Sally Ride (Credit US Mint)

The quarter dollar is both the most commonly-used coin in the American currency and the most unique. Since 1999, the coin's reverse, or "tails," side has showcased all 50 US states, as well as the breathtaking beauty of the country's national parks. Now, the US Mint plans to use the silver canvas to celebrate female leaders who have played a crucial part in shaping the nation's history.

The American Women's Quarter Program, which was unveiled on April 12, 2021, will last four years. According to the US Mint, it will feature 20 women “from a wide spectrum of fields" including, but not limited to, "suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts." The leaders will come from “ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds.” While the quarter's front, or "obverse," side, will continue to feature a likeness of the nation's first president, George Washington, the design will be different from those used during previous iterations.

The seven Angelou coin designs (Credit: US Mint)

“I wanted to make sure that women would be honored, and their images and names be lifted up on our coins. I mean, it’s outrageous that we haven’t,” Representative Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who co-sponsored the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act (CCRA) that authorized the initiative, told the 19th News. “Hopefully, the public really delves into who these women were because these women have made such a contribution to our country in so many ways.”

The first batch of the coin series, expected to enter circulation in January 2022, will feature poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou and America's first female astronaut in space, Sally Ride. The seven Angelou quarter designs all reference her critically-acclaimed autobiography, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings." Ride's five designs focus on her achievements as an astronaut and an educator.

Sally Ride's coins will honor her achievements as an astronaut and an educator (Credit: US Mint)

To select the next honorees, the US Mint is seeking help from the American public. Since federal laws prohibit featuring a living person on currency, the only criterion is that the nominee is deceased. The winners will be decided by Janet Yellen — the nation's first female Treasury Secretary — in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum, and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus. Be sure to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your favorite female hero on American currency by filling out this form on the National Women's History Museum website.


Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
  • furitloop
    furitloopFriday, June 18, 2021 at 1:26 pm
    This book is really interestig. It gives you a lot of information about American history.
    • maloki0
      maloki0Friday, June 18, 2021 at 7:50 am
      Yes! make it rain glass!
      • pandor
        pandorWednesday, June 16, 2021 at 7:11 am
        Loving the book
        • masmas
          masmasMonday, June 14, 2021 at 12:37 pm
          I am a coin collector and I can't wait to collect all of them! My best coin is a 1944 wheat penny I us to have a 1918 wheat penny but my dad lost it 😞
          • socialsphynx
            socialsphynxThursday, June 10, 2021 at 8:56 am
            It's so cool that America is honoring women in its history.😀
            • scarscar28
              scarscar28Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 6:06 am
              This is amazing the 1st ever coin doing of women I love it fourth going into fifth in steptember
              • exotic_fnaf
                exotic_fnafWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 2:35 pm
                i am soooo late but its still awsome to see (also pls follow me on the movies and books which are eexotic_fnaf and exotic_ennerd)
                • barackombamairl
                  barackombamairlWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 7:18 am
                  so true bestie ! (
                  • aminachen
                    aminachenWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 4:52 am
                    I'm gonna spend quite a lot of pocket money
                    • sasukenaruto
                      sasukenarutoTuesday, June 8, 2021 at 5:33 pm
                      So far I have over 100 dollars in quarters I do not need more