The United States Mint announced the five women to be honored during the third year of their American Women Quarters™ Program.
Depictions of Patsy Takemoto Mink, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Pauli Murray, Zitkala-Ša, and Celia Cruz will appear on the reverse (tails side) of the 2024 quarters.
"All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and have made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way," said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. "The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket."
Authorized under Public Law 116-330, the four-year series of quarters celebrate women for their important accomplishments and contributions to the United States and its development.
U.S. Mint descriptions for the five American women honored in 2024 follow:
- 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 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 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 (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.
- 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.
Altogether, 20 unique depictions of American women will be celebrated on 2022-2025 quarters. Women honored in 2022 include Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Adelina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong. Women featured in 2023 include Bessie Coleman, Edith Kanaka’ole, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jovita Idar and Maria Tallchief.
Public Law 116-330 requires that the Secretary of the Treasury select the women to be honored after consultation with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum, and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus.
Depictions of the woman featured on the coins are created by U.S. Mint artists and artists from the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program with their eventual candidates designs reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).
Obverses (heads side) of the quarters in the series share the same portrait of George Washington. The image was created by Laura Gardin Fraser as a candidate entry for the 1932 quarter.