50-State Quarter Program Honoring Historic American Women

During her time in Treasury, Rosie proposed a 50-state quarter program so that every U.S. state, district and territory would have the ability to highlight a historic American woman from their respective area on a circulating quarter coin.

The legislation was officially introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort on Thursday, March 15, 2018

The program

Similar to other 50-state quarter programs, Congress needs to pass legislation for the program to proceed.

  • The Chief Executive of each state, district and territory will be the lead contact for the nomination process
  • The Secretary of the Treasury makes the final recommendation following a long-established coin approval process in place at the U.S. Mint
  • If passed, the first quarters will be issued in 2021 following the completion of the current National Sites Quarter Dollar program honoring national sites from each state, district and territory
  • The program will last approximately 10 years (average of five quarters per year).

Purpose

The program continues the dialogue about the contributions of American women to the history of the U.S. which began during the currency redesign public engagement process in 2015. 

The currency public engagement process led by Rosie lasted almost a year and resulted in a database of over 230 historic American women that was posted on Treasury’s website on the day of the currency redesign announcement.

The states, districts and territories will be highly encouraged to solicit feedback from their communities on the women who have made great contributions to their respective areas.  Ideally, each state, district and territory will also create a database of the feedback, similar to Treasury’s database, and create a vetted tool that can now be integrated into their respective classroom curriculum.

What our children learn in the classroom is mandated at the state level; the federal government can only provide guidance.  By using a credible, legitimate and thoughtful process of educational and community stakeholders, this will provide the first-ever opportunity to make structural changes for institutionalizing historic American women into classrooms across the country.

Additional key points of the proposed legislation include the following

Sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R-ME).

The Title of the Legislative Act is the ‘‘Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Commemorative Coin Program Act’’

The quarter dollar coins issued during each year of the period shall be issued in alphabetical order of the area represented, starting with Alabama

The Secretary shall publish each of the first five designs no later than August 31, 2020

The nominations must be approved by the Secretary after submission of a recommendation that has included consultation with women’s groups and organizations within the applicable State, the District of Columbia, or territory being commemorated that are pursuing a mission focused on increasing the inclusion of women, or improving the quality of life for women.

The design on the reverse of each coin issued shall be emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a prominent woman who was a resident of a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory and bear her name and other appropriate inscriptions. The person must be deceased.