Maya Angelou and Sally Ride Will Be Honored on Quarters

The author and poet Maya Angelou and the astronaut Sally Ride, the primary American lady to fly in area, are the primary ladies who will seem on a sequence of quarters to be issued by the U.S. Mint over the subsequent 4 years.

Each lady will probably be honored on the reverse, or tails, facet of the cash, which can enter circulation in January as a part of the American Women Quarters Program. The heads facet of the coin will function a brand new design of George Washington.

Dr. Ride, who died at 61 in 2012, “would be so moved by this great honor,” her accomplice, Tam O’Shaughnessy, stated in a statement, including that “this tribute reflects Sally’s legacy not only as a trailblazing astronaut but also as a champion of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.”

Billie Jean King, the trailblazing tennis champion, hailed the announcement as “a richly deserved honor for both.”

Representative Barbara Lee, the California Democrat who launched laws within the House of Representatives directing the Treasury Department to create this system, stated in a statement that “for too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color.”

Dr. Ride and Ms. Angelou, who died at 86 in 2014, “paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy,” Ms. Lee stated.

Ms. Angelou’s landmark 1969 memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” was among the many first autobiographies by a 20th-century Black lady to achieve a large normal readership. She recited a poem at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Dr. Ride — who recalled saying, “I’m one of those people” upon seeing a NASA newspaper advert with the {qualifications} required for astronauts — flew on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983 and 1984. She was on the roster for a 3rd shuttle mission when the Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff on Jan. 28, 1986. The shuttle program was suspended, and she retired the subsequent yr.

The American Women Quarters Program will function as many as 20 ladies “from a wide spectrum of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts,” the U.S. Mint stated in an announcement, including that the ladies could be from “ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds.”

Senator Deb Fischer, Republican of Nebraska, and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Democrat of Nevada, who launched the laws within the Senate to create this system, wrote in an opinion piece in USA Today that “as female U.S. senators, our story would not have been possible without these women who came before us.”

“We look forward to being reminded of their legacies every time we see their faces on a new quarter,” they wrote.

The U.S. Mint has requested the general public to submit suggestions for girls to be honored on future quarters. Each design will rejoice “the accomplishments and contributions” of a outstanding American lady. The legislation says that no residing individual will probably be depicted within the coin designs.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen — the first woman to carry that place — will choose the featured ladies after consulting with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus, the Mint stated. Ms. Yellen can even approve the ultimate designs for the cash.

The first lady to be featured on a U.S. coin was Queen Isabella of Spain, who was honored on a quarter launched in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Susan B. Anthony was the primary lady to be featured on a circulating U.S. coin; the silver greenback together with her picture on it was launched in 1979. (A dollar coin that includes Sacagawea, the Shoshone lady who helped Lewis and Clark throughout the plains, was produced from 2000 to 2008.)

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