The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) has released the candidate design images for the upcoming 2024 American Women Quarter Program coins. The 2024 American Women Quarter Program will honor Patsy Takemoto Mink, Mary Edwards Walker, Pauli Murray, Zitkala-Ša, and Celia Cruz. The release of the images comes as the CCAC wraps up its two-day meeting today.
Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color and the first Asian-American to serve in Congress. She was a Democratic member of the House of Representatives for 24 years, with her reputation on gender and race equality, health care, and education being tenacious.
Mary Edwards Walker became a surgeon in 1855 and volunteered in the Union Army in the American Civil War. She eventually was commissioned as the first female surgeon in the army. While assisting a Confederate doctor across enemy lines with wounded soldiers, she was arrested as a spy and held as a prisoner of war for four months. After the war she received the Medal of Honor, becoming the only woman to have earned that medal.
Pauli Murray was the first African American woman to earn a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Yale Law School. She used that degree to advance causes for Civil and Women’s rights. Eventually, she became an Episcopal priest.
Zitkala-Ša, which means “Red Bird”, was also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnie. She was born on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She with Quaker missionaries at age eight to learn to read, write and play the violin and piano. She used that education to become a music teacher and would eventually compose the libretto and songs of the opera Sun Dance. Sun Dance is based on Sioux retinals that the federal government at the time had banned.
Celia Cruz was a naturalized Cuban-American singer known as the “Queen of Salsa” due to her operatic range. She left Cuba in 1959 after the Cuban Revolution, despite already being a star in the country. She became the spokesperson for Cuban exiles.
The American Women Quarter Program is a four-year program honoring significant women and their contributions to the United States.
About the CCAC
In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 5135, the CCAC:
- Advises the Secretary of the Treasury on any theme or design proposals relating to circulating coinage, bullion coinage, Congressional Gold Medals, and national and other medals.
- Advises the Secretary of the Treasury with regards to the events, persons, or places to be commemorated by the issuance of commemorative coins in each of the five calendar years succeeding the year in which a commemorative coin designation is made.
- Makes recommendations with respect to the mintage level for any commemorative coin recommended.
The CCAC was established in 2003 by Congress under Public Law 108-15.