04.12.21

Rep. Lee Reacts to the Announcement of the First Two Honorees in the American Women Quarters Program

The United States Mint implements the new four year program as authorized by Rep. Lee’s Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020, which was recently signed into law 

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today applauded the United States Mint for announcing the names of the first two women to be honored on coins issued under the American Women Quarters Program. The two distinguished American women celebrated on the reverse of the program’s circulating quarters will be famed writer and poet, Dr. Maya Angelou, and trailblazing astronaut, Dr. Sally Ride. 

As authorized by Public Law 116-330—the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 introduced by Congresswoman Lee—the Mint will issue circulating and numismatic quarter-dollar coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a prominent American woman beginning in January 2022.

“For too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color,” said Congresswoman Lee. “I am pleased to see that the first women to be recognized under my bill are outstanding individuals in the fields of science and literature: Dr. Sally Ride and Dr. Maya Angelou. They paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy. Our goal in working on this legislation was to honor phenomenal women like Dr. Maya Angelou and Dr. Sally Ride. I'm glad they are among the first of many to be recognized".

Contributions may come from a wide spectrum of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. The women honored will come from ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds. As the Public Law requires that no living person be featured in the coin designs, all of the women honored must be deceased. The Mint will annually issue up to five different reverse designs over the four-year period beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025. 

The obverse (heads) of coins in this program will continue to feature a likeness of George Washington designed in a manner to distinguish it from the current image. 

The public is invited to submit recommendations for women to be honored via the following web portal established by the National Women’s History Museum: https://forms.gle/3BgR3BLbFfJ69XdYA

In accordance with the Public Law, the Secretary of the Treasury selects the women to be honored following consultation with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum, and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus.

The Mint will announce additional information about the American Women Quarters Program in the coming months.

About the United States Mint
Congress created the United States Mint in 1792, and the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. As the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage, the Mint is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; silver and bronze medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. Its numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers. 

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