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US Mint to issue quarters honoring notable American women

Poet and author Maya Angelou, astronaut Sally Ride and revered Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller are among those whose likenesses will appear on the U.S. quarter.
33rd Annual American Women in Radio & Television Gracie Allen Awards - Show
Maya Angelou on stage during the 33rd Annual American Women In Radio & Television Gracie Allen Awards on May 28, 2008 in New York City.Jemal Countess / WireImage
/ Source: AP (Associated Press)

Poet and author Maya Angelou, America’s first woman in space and a revered Cherokee Nation leader are among female trailblazers whose likenesses will appear on the U.S. quarter.

The new four-year American Women Quarters Program celebrates women's accomplishments and contributions to the United States' development and history, according to the U.S. Mint.

Under the program, the mint will issue up to five new designs each year from 2022 to 2025. Honorees will be from a variety of fields and from ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds, the mint says.

Those chosen for the first year are:

— Angelou, celebrated poet and memoirist

— Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation's first female principal chief

— Adelina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement

— Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space

— Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American Hollywood film star

Anna May Wong in a 1928 photo.Kiesel / ullstein bild via Getty Images

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Mankiller’s husband, Charlie Soap, expressed gratitude for Mankiller's inclusion in the program, saying her influence and leadership made her a fitting choice.

Mankiller became one of the United States’ most visible Native American leaders during her 10 years as chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, from 1985 to 1995. She died in 2010.

Chief Wilma Mankiller on Nov. 15, 1993.Judy Weintraub / The Washington Post via Getty Images

“We thank the U.S. Mint for recognizing Wilma and the other recipients for such an honor," Soap told Indian Country Today. “Wilma was a humble, spiritual, great leader whose leadership was not only for Cherokee people but for all women and races. The real value of this coin is the inspiration it brings to Indian people and women everywhere.”

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