Watch CBS News

U.S. Mint Rolling Out New Quarters That Will Feature Prominent American Women, Including Maya Angelou And Sally Ride

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- You'll be seeing some new quarters in circulation this month.

The U.S. Mint will be honoring a diverse group of women who have made contributions to the United States, CBS2's Steve Overmyer reported Wednesday.

If you see a quarter showing poet Dr. Maya Angelou, feel inspired. It will be the first in a series of commemorative quarters honoring influential women.

In 1993, Angelou became the first African-American woman to recite poetry at a presidential inauguration. She rose to fame as a poet and activist that struck at the heart of the American experience.

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived. But if faced with courage, need not be lived again," Angelou said at the time.

Her poems won three Grammys and are incorporated into school curriculums internationally.

"You can kill me with your hatefulness, but just like life, I rise," Angelou once said.

The next honoree also reached for the stars.

In 1983, Dr. Sally Ride soared into history as the first American woman in space. She personally deployed two satellites still in use today. Ride captured the imagination of Americans as a symbol of women breaking barriers.

Ride wasn't the only trailblazer.

Anna May Wong was the first Asian-American movie star. Wong's first roles were actually in silent films.

Still, she played every role with dignity and strength and earned her status as the first Chinese-American woman on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Nina Otero Warren was a crusader for women's equality in 1917 and became New Mexico's first female government official. In 1922, she was the first Latina to run for Congress.

Then there's Wilma Mankiller.

She was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, or any Native American nation. Mankiller spent her life fighting for the rights of Native Americans, and won. In 1998, she was awarded the highest civilian honor, The Medal of Freedom.

The five coins will still have George Washington on the face, but with the honorees on the reverse side.

So the next time you get change, lookout for the women who inspired change.

The U.S. Mint said the first coin, Angelou, is already in circulation, and it will release the others periodically over the next four years.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.