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

By

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.

Resources: USMint.gov, Smithsonianmag.com

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
121 Comments
  • feathertail_wc
    feathertail_wcFriday, June 4, 2021 at 7:50 am
    More Quarters to collect?! Oh Geez...
    • aminachen
      aminachenWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 4:52 am
      i also collect quarters
    • crazycorgi973
      crazycorgi973Friday, June 4, 2021 at 7:27 am
      They all have some type of bird design in them. I wonder when they come out.
      • nizuku
        nizukuSunday, June 6, 2021 at 6:07 am
        They come out in January 2022. The first batch does anyway
      • dylandagoat8
        dylandagoat8Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 7:38 pm
        It’s nice they they are finally getting attention in a BIG way.
        • juliannaterry
          juliannaterryWednesday, June 2, 2021 at 2:24 pm
          It's about time.🙄
          • bluestarfirepaw
            bluestarfirepawWednesday, June 2, 2021 at 8:13 am
            jolie0402dogo honestly i would just be shocked
            • hermione1315
              hermione1315Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 12:14 pm
              nice name i love warriors too!
            • miraculous23
              miraculous23Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 6:50 am
              Very Nice!! Woman should be appreciated. I feel like no one knows that without women there couldn't have been a man. I think Rosa Parks def should be on a coin. If you would like to fill out the form search the smithsonian museum dot com and click on the link that tells about the coin. Then scroll down. It says something about the form and the link is attactched to the words. Then you can fill out the form and recommend some women.
              • sasukenaruto
                sasukenarutoWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 5:18 am
                How about Rosa parks
                • cljk
                  cljkWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:12 am
                  I really like that idea.
              • jolie0402dogo
                jolie0402dogoTuesday, June 1, 2021 at 9:10 pm
                Imagine having your picture on a coin that belongs to you...
                • sasukenaruto
                  sasukenarutoWednesday, June 9, 2021 at 5:18 am
                  Honestly I would spend it
                  • feathertail_wc
                    feathertail_wcFriday, June 4, 2021 at 7:50 am
                    I would cry
                    • 97coconbt
                      97coconbtWednesday, June 2, 2021 at 3:33 pm
                      That would be cooll
                    • hither3
                      hither3Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 10:38 am
                      finally some representation
                      • barbiequeen
                        barbiequeenSunday, May 30, 2021 at 5:04 pm
                        I want my picture on a coin 💕💕💕
                        • arkansasgirl23
                          arkansasgirl23Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 7:17 pm
                          Women are just as strong as men and its time for it to be glorified.