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Maya Angelou and Sally Ride will be among the women being honored on quarters

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride honored by U.S. Mint
Maya Angelou and Sally Ride to appear on coinage series honoring trailblazing American women 02:11

Maya Angelou became the second poet in history to recite a poem at an inauguration with her reading of "On the Pulse of Morning" when Bill Clinton was first sworn in as president in 1993. Now, she'll make history again as one of 20 distinguished women set to be honored by the U.S. Mint, appearing on a series of quarters starting next year. 

Trailblazing astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman launched into space on the shuttle Challenger in 1983, will also be honored on the coin. Angelou and Ride will be featured on the reverse, or "tails side," starting in January 2022 as part of the American Women Quarters series helmed by project manager Michelle Thompson.

"It's a huge deal, the American Women Quarters program gives the opportunity to have women out there on circulating coins," Thompson told CBS This Morning's Dana Jacobson. "Their legacies, their achievements, they're all going to be captured on pocket change for generations."

The U.S. Mint will oversee the design work, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will approve the nominees and final design. 

While the front or "heads side" will continue to feature the likeness of George Washington, he'll be getting a makeover to distinguish the new coins, with several options being considered.

The other 18 honorees — who have yet to be announced — will come from a wide variety of fields including abolition, suffrage and civil rights movements, as well as the humanities, science and the arts.

"We're looking for a very broad, diverse group of women because that's what we have in America," said Thompson. "And they're the type of women who have shaped where we are as a nation."

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