Poet and author Maya Angelou is among the first women featured on quarters as part of a series by the US Mint. Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space will also be featured in the inaugural round of coins.
According to The New York Times, each woman will be on the tails side of the quarter which will go into circulation starting in January of next year. The American Women Quarters Program launched by the Mint will include as many as 20 women featured on quarters over the next four years.
“For too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color,” Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who introduced the legislation in the House to get the program started in the Treasury, said in a statement.
Rep. Lee added that Maya Angelou and Dr. Ride, “paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy.” Maya Angelou died in 2014 at the age of 86, and Dr. Ride passed away at the age of 61 in 2012.
The public can get involved in the selection process for the other women to be featured on quarters in the program. Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen, the first woman to serve in that role, will choose which women are featured in the series and consult the National Women’s History Museum, and other groups. She’ll also approve the final designs. Under the legislation that started the women’s quarter series, no living person can be featured on the coin.
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