Meet the First Faces of the American Women Quarters Program

Photo Courtesy: [Orlando Sentinel/Contributor/Getty Images, Michael Ochs Archive/Stringer/Getty Images, Adam Katz/Getty Images]

On April 20, 2016, former U.S. Secretary of State Jack Lew announced plans to print $20 bills featuring Harriet Tubman’s face instead of Andrew Jackson’s. When that Obama-era policy announcement didn’t come to fruition in the Trump era, people were upset and confused.

As the debate over whether or not a new bill design would be ready by its projected 2020 release rolled on, the U.S. Mint made an announcement of its own: the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020. This enables the U.S. Mint to create limited edition coins that pay homage to something specific in American history. Instead of commemorating the 50 states or a single event like it’s done in the past, the Mint is planning to release new quarters that will feature women who have impacted the U.S.

Of all the different U.S. dollar bills and coins, only Pocahontas, Martha Washington, Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea have been featured — most U.S. currency depicts profiles of former presidents. The Mint’s new quarters will feature women who have made important contributions to American culture, civil rights, art, entertainment, STEM and more. From 2022 to 2025, up to five women will be featured on the tail ends of U.S. quarters.

The first two women slated to appear on the new U.S. quarters are Maya Angelou and Sally Ride. One a writer and one a space explorer, these women will be the first of their disciplines to grace U.S. money —  and their stories and contributions to American history show why it’s vital to honor them.