‘Queen of salsa’ Celia Cruz to appear on US quarter
The U.S. Mint has announced the next group of women to be featured on quarters, as part of the American Women Quarters Program.
In 2024, the five trailblazing women you’ll find on the back of the special-edition coins are Patsy Takemoto Mink, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Pauli Murray, Zitkala-Ša, and Celia Cruz.
Cuban-American salsa singer Celia Cruz will be featured on U.S. quarters throughout 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. Here she is, performing at Carnegie Hall, in New York, New York, on July 1, 1995. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)
The American Women Quarters Program was announced in 2021 as a way of honoring various women and their achievements in shaping the nation’s history. Twenty quarters will be issued throughout the duration of the program, which will run from 2022-2025.
In 2022, the program notably honored Maya Angelou — making her the first Black woman to be featured on a U.S. quarter.
Other honorees in the first year’s group were Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut; Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood.
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The quarters for 2023 began shipping last month and feature Bessie Coleman, Jovita Idar, Edith Kanakaʻole, Elanor Roosevelt, and Maria Tallchief.
Coleman was a pilot and advocate; Ida was a Mexican-American journalist, activist, teacher, and suffragist; Kanakaʻole – an indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, dancer, teacher, and entertainer; Roosevelt a former first lady, author and reformer; and Tallchief was America’s first prima ballerina.
Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said these coins "are like small works of art in your pocket."
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The designs for 2024’s quarters will be released later this summer, with the quarters being shipped early next year.
Patsy Takemoto Mink
Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress, will be featured on U.S. quarters throughout 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. This photograph is from a news conference in Washington, D.C. in 1971. (Photo via Ge ( )
Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color to serve in Congress.
As a Member of Congress, she fought for gender and racial equality, affordable childcare, and bilingual education, most notably with the passage of Title IX, which was later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
A portrait of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, who will be featured on U.S. quarters throughout 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. She was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, championed women's rights, and was an advocate of women wea ( )
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was a Civil War era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and an abolitionist.
Walker often crossed battle lines to care for wounded soldiers. Captured by the Confederate troops as a suspected spy, she was held as a prisoner of war for four months. Walker is the only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Pauli Murray will be featured on U.S. quarters throughout 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. She was a poet and staunch advocate for civil rights. (Photo via Getty Images) ( )
Pauli Murray was a poet, writer, activist, lawyer, and Episcopal priest, as well as a staunch advocate for civil rights, fighting against racial and sex discrimination.
In 1966, she co-founded the National Organization for Women with Betty Friedan and other activists. Murray is regarded as one of the most important social justice advocates of the twentieth century.
Zitkala-Ša, which means Red Bird, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was a Native American activist. She’ll be featured on U.S. quarters throughout 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. (Photo via Getty Images) ( )
Zitkala-Ša (meaning "Red Bird"), also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was a writer, composer, educator, and political activist for Native Americans’ right to United States citizenship and other civil rights they had long been denied.
She left her South Dakota home on the Yankton reservation at age eight to attend a boarding school run by white missionaries, where her native culture and traditions were prohibited.
Cuban-American salsa singer Celia Cruz will be featured on U.S. quarters throughout 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. Here she is, performing at Carnegie Hall, in New York, New York, on July 1, 1995. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty ( )
Celia Cruz (Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso) was a Cuban-American singer, cultural icon, and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century.
Known as "The Queen of Salsa," Cruz’s numerous honors and awards include five Grammy awards, a National Medal of Arts, and a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
This story was reported from Detroit.