Here are the women who will appear on quarters in 2023
The U.S. Mint has unveiled the five women who will appear on quarters in 2023 as part of the four year series celebrating women's contributions to the United States. Next year's diverse honorees include a former first lady, pilot, prima ballerina, composer and journalist.
This is the second round of women to be announced, after five women were unveiled to appear on quarters as part of the American Women Quarters Program this year. The first quarters released into circulation were of poet Maya Angelou and then first American woman astronaut Sally Ride earlier this year.
Next year's quarters include Bessie Coleman, Jovita Idar, Edith Kanaka'ole, Eleanor Roosevelt and Maria Tallchief. To select the women who are featured, the U.S. Mint works with groups including the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, National Women's History Museum and Congressional Bipartisan Women's Caucus to put together the recommendations. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has final approval of the honorees.
"The range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speak to the contributions women have always made in the history of our country," said Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson of the latest round of honorees. "I am proud that the Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society."
Here are the women to be featured next year:
Bessie Coleman, born in 1892, was the first African American and first Native American woman pilot. When flight schools would not accept her because she was a woman and African American, she applied for flight school in France. She went on to become the first African American to earn an international pilot's license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in June 1921. In 1922, she performed the first public flight by an African American woman. She went on to perform tricks and give flight lessons in the U.S. and Europe. Coleman was also known as an advocate who refused to speak anywhere that discriminated against African Americans.
Jovita Idar, born in 1885 in Texas, was a Mexican American journalist, activist, teacher, and suffragist. Idár started working for her father's newspaper La Crónica, which advocated for Mexican-American rights. She was also known for supporting women's suffrage and encouraging women to vote. Idar went on to write for several other publications and was active in the Democratic Party in Texas.
Edith Kanaka'ole, born in 1913, was an indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, dancer, teacher and entertainer. She founded an internationally recognized dance company, Hālau o Kekuhi, known for hula. Her moʻolelo, or stories, preserved Hawaiian history, customs and traditions that were disappearing due to the cultural bigotry.
Eleanor Roosevelt, born in 1884, was the longest serving first lady of the United States, an author, advocate and first chair of the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights. During her time as first lady, Roosevelt traveled across the U.S. and reported back on what she saw to the president. Early in her husband's presidency, she became the first first lady to hold her own press conference where she invited women reporters only. She also went on to have her own daily syndicated column. Roosevelt was known for advocating for the poor and minorities. After her husband's death, President Truman appointed Mrs. Roosevelt to the U.N. General Assembly.
Maria Tallchief, born in Oklahoma in 1925, was America's first prima ballerina. She got her start at the Ballet Russe, the premier Russian ballet company in the U.S. In 1947, she became the first American to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet and was the first star of what became the New York City Ballet where she performed leading roles in The Firebird and the Nutcracker. Tallchief also broke barriers as a Native American ballerina and was known for speaking out against injustices and discrimination.
Like this year's quarters featuring women, next year's quarters will also show the women on the reverse "tails" side of the coins. The "heads" side of the coins will continue to feature President George Washington.
The legislation creating the program in commemoration of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California in 2019 and passed in 2020. It was signed into law in January 2021.
Quarters featuring activist Wilma Mankiller, suffragist Nina Otero-Warren and actress Anna May Wong will also launch into circulation later this year.
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