Celebrating Women’s History
The United States Mint is proud to honor women whose groundbreaking efforts throughout our Nation’s past have helped shaped its future, paving the way for generations to come. Here at the Mint, women have been making history for more than two centuries. The Mint hired the first female Federal employees ever at the Philadelphia Mint facility in 1795 as adjusters, who weighed and, if necessary, filed coin blanks down to their proper weight to control material costs for the Government. Another "first" occurred when Nellie Tayloe Ross, who had already made history as the first woman elected as the Governor of a State (Wyoming), was appointed the first woman Director of the United States Mint in 1933.
Our assortment of coins and medals honor the courage and contributions of women from all walks of life, from different eras and different backgrounds who share the common distinction of having changed the course of our Nation’s history.
Elizabeth Peratrovich & Mary Golda Ross
Elizabeth Peratrovich, Alaska native and member of the Lukaaxh.ádi Clan of the Raven moiety of the Tlingit nation, was influential in the fight for equality in that state. Her work was a deciding factor in the passage of the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Law by the Alaskan territorial government. In 2019, the U.S. Mint honored Cherokee Nation member and mathematician Mary Golda Ross. Considered to be the first Native American woman to become a professional engineer, her trailblazing work with the Space Program contributed to the Apollo missions that eventually landed on the Moon in 1969.
Canonized as a saint in 2016, Mother Teresa of Calcutta became a teacher after joining a religious order a year earlier. She became increasingly concerned by the poverty she saw around her and founded the Missionaries of Charity to fight it.
Womens airforce pilots
The more than 1,000 members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were pioneers who collectively represented a major breakthrough for female service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Although they did not serve in combat roles, WASP assignments included test piloting and transporting personnel and cargo. Thirty-eight of these brave women died while serving during World War II.
Annie Jump Cannon
Annie Jump Cannon became a globally recognized astronomer thanks to her history making accomplishments, including being the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford. She discovered over 300 stars using a classification system she developed which is still in use today. Annie Jump Cannon is shown here with her silhouette against the night sky with a number of stars visible. We honored her on our 2019 American Innovation $1 Coin–Delaware.
Rosa Parks became one of the faces of the civil rights movement on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, AL, to a white man. Her courageous act cemented her place in American history by launching the Montgomery bus boycott and propelling the civil rights movement to the forefront of our Nation’s consciousness.
Lady Liberty is among our Nation’s most recognized women. She is exquisitely depicted on the 2020 Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin – Pursuit of Happiness, the riveting conclusion to the three-year Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series. The coin’s obverse imagery is infused with rich symbolism representing American hopes, values, and aspirations.