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.
The iconic Lady Liberty is among our Nation’s most recognized women. She is depicted with a torch to symbolize the guiding light that liberty provides, and a book to represent the rule of law and its equal application. The revered figure celebrates treasured American ideals: the freedom to pursue new landscapes, ideas, and ways of life, creating movements that changed the world.
Mary Golda Ross
Born in 1908, Cherokee Nation member and mathematician Mary Golda Ross is 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, while her classified projects included work on subjects such as ballistic missiles, satellites in orbit above the earth, and space travel to Mars and Venus.
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.
Canonized as a saint in 2016, Mother Theresa 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.
Women Airforce Service 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.