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U.S. Mint Issues New Quarter Featuring Poet Laureate Maya Angelou

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- The United States Mint is introducing a new quarter with the image of the late poet, activist, artist Maya Angelou. The new coin is the first in a series featuring prominent women in American history.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the bipartisan bill that made the so-called 'American Women Quarters Program' possible.

In a statement, Congresswoman Lee hailed the program and touted Angelou's accomplishments and unique connection to the Bay Area.

"As a leader in the civil rights movement, poet laureate, college professor, Broadway actress, dancer, and the first female African American cable car conductor in San Francisco, Maya Angelou's brilliance and artistry inspired generations."

According to the U.S. Mint, George Washington is on the 'inverse' side of the coin. On the 'reverse' side, Angelou is depicted with her arms uplifted and "behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived."

Other women honored include Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren and May Wong. Limited quanties will be produced.

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