Get to know the first 5 women to be honored on U.S. quarters

You can expect to see more women’s faces on your money thanks to the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program. 

From 2022 to 2025, the 25-cent coin will feature women throughout history on up to five new coins each year. A new image of George Washington will appear on one side of the coin, while the famous woman will be on the other. 

“The American Women Quarters may feature contributions from a variety of fields, including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space and the arts. The women honored will be from ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds,” according to the U.S. Mint

This year’s slate of five women has officially been announced, and TikTok’s resident historian @historyabouther gave In The Know the rundown. 

1. Wilma Mankiller

“The first notable woman is Wilma Mankiller,” @historyabouther explained. “She is the first woman elected as a chief of a major native tribe. She spent her remarkable life fighting for [the] rights of American Indians.” 

Mankiller served as chief of Cherokee Nation from 1987 to 1995. Under her leadership, Cherokee Nation tripled its enrollment, doubled its employment, lowered its infant mortality rate and rose its educational levels.  

2. Maya Angelou 

Best known for her writing, Maya Angelou is “the author of more than 30 books and the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees. She had many different careers before becoming a writer, all before the age of 40,” @historyabouther said.

Angelou’s poetry, fiction and autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010. 

3. Nina Otero-Warren

“Nina Otero-Warren was the first Hispanic woman to run for U.S. Congress and the first female superintendent of public schools in New Mexico,” @historyabouther said. 

“She strove to improve education for all New Mexicans working, especially to advance bicultural education and to preserve cultural practices among the state’s Hispanic and Native American communities.”

Otero-Warren was also a prominent leader in getting Latinas involved in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and ratifying the 19th Amendment.  

4. Anna May Wong

“Appearing in over 60 films throughout her career, Anna May Wong was the first Chinese-American film star in Hollywood,” @historyabouther said. “She is internationally recognized, and her legacy continues to influence entertainers around the world.”

In 1951, Wong became the first Asian American lead actor in a U.S. TV show for her role in The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong and, in 1960, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

5. Dr. Sally Ride 

“Dr. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She made her journey into history in 1983,” @historyabouther explained. “Throughout her life, Dr. Ride broke barriers and worked to ensure that girls and women were encouraged to do the same.”

In 1983, Ride became the youngest American at 32 and the first American woman in space when she completed a six-day mission on the Challenger space shuttle. She has since empowered women and girls to take up careers in STEM through her books for young people and education organizations. 

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