Poet Maya Angelou and Astronaut Sally Ride will be the first women honoured on series of quarters

  • 22 May - 28 May, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

The US Mint is honouring 20 trailblazing women on a new series of quarters, starting with Maya Angelou and Dr Sally Ride. The poet and the NASA astronaut will be the first two women featured on the back of the coins, which are debuting in January and will continue in circulation through 2025 as part of the American Women Quarters Programme. The US Mint announced Ride and Angelou as the first honourees in April, saying the coins' heads "will continue to feature a likeness of George Washington designed in a manner to distinguish it from the current image." The group also encouraged those wishing to nominate women to be featured on the quarters to do so via a web portal form set up by the National Women's History Museum. Tam O'Shaughnessy, Ride's life partner and co-founder of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego, previously said in an April statement that Ride, the first American woman in space, who died in 2012 at age 61, "would be so moved by this great honour." Angelou, who died at the age of 86 in 2014, gained acclaim for her first book, her 1970 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.