WASHINGTON – The United States Mint (Mint) is pleased to announce the addition of the following women to be honored during the first year of the American Women Quarters
- Wilma Mankiller – the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights;
- Adelina Otero-Warren – a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools; and
- Anna May Wong – the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, achieving international success despite racism and discrimination.
Designs reflecting the achievements of Mankiller, Otero-Warren, and Wong, along with those of celebrated author Maya Angelou and trailblazing astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, will be featured on circulating and numismatic American Women Quarters Program coins beginning in 2022.
“Courageous women have made countless contributions throughout our great Nation’s history,” said Mint Director David J. Ryder. “The American Women Quarters Program is a unique opportunity to honor a broad and diverse group of women whose achievements, triumphs, and legacies reflect the strength and resilience of our Nation. We look forward to sharing their stories.”
Authorized by Public Law 116-330—the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020—the American Women Quarters Program will feature coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of prominent American women. 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 required by the Public Law, no living person will be featured in the coin designs, and thus all the women honored must be deceased. The Mint will issue up to five coins with different reverse designs annually over the four-year period from 2022 through 2025.
One of the women honored is from right here in New Mexico.
Adelina Otero-Warren was the first Latina to ever run for Congress and clearly a woman on a mission. As the suffrage movement gained steam nationwide, Nina wasn’t content to be left behind, according to a story on her life shared by the National Park Service.
Born in Los Lunas, she was pivotal in the movement to grant women the vote here. Then she followed that by becoming the first Latina nominee of a major party to run for federal office. She lost (just barely) but used her notoriety from all of that to become the first female superintendent of a school system. She served 12 years as Santa Fe’s education boss. Starting in 2022, you’ll see her face on the reverse side of George Washington’s thanks to the Mint’s new Women Quarters Program.
The obverse (heads) of coins in the American Women Quarters Program will continue to feature a likeness of George Washington designed in a manner to distinguish it from the current image.
As stipulated by 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 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.
The Mint will release additional details about the American Women Quarters Program in the coming months.