Susan B. Anthony Coin, the First with a Woman, Minted & Circulated

Susan B. Anthony Coin Circulated

The first woman to be honored by appearing on a circulated US coin was Susan B. Anthony.

On December 13th, 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began striking a new coin. It was not just unique because it changed the shape, weight, and design of the one-dollar coin in the United States. It was also the first piece of circulated US currency to feature the likeness of a woman!

The woman featured was Susan B. Anthony. The famous feminist who helped the women’s suffrage movement succeed, petitioned against slavery, pushed for educational and labor reform, and was involved in other social reform made history yet again when her profile was struck to the one-dollar coin.

A brief history of her life, Susan B. Anthony was born February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She was brought up in a Quaker family with long activist traditions. Early in her life she developed a sense of justice and moral zeal.

After teaching for fifteen years, she became active in temperance. Because she was a woman, she was not allowed to speak at temperance rallies. This experience, and her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led her to join the women’s rights movement in 1852. Soon after, she dedicated her life to woman suffrage.

Ignoring opposition and abuse, Anthony traveled, lectured, and canvassed across the nation for the vote. She also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, the right for women to own their own property and retain their earnings, and she advocated for women’s labor organizations. In 1900, Anthony persuaded the University of Rochester to admit women.

Anthony, who never married, she remained active until her death on March 13, 1906.

Back to the history of the coin, unfortunately, the size and shape of the coin was too similar to the quarter and caused confusion during transactions. This led to the coin never being widely accepted by the public, and in 1997 Congress replaced the Susan B. Anthony coin with our current golden dollar. Even so, Anthony’s coins still continue in circulation and are gathered by collectors.

While we no longer regularly use this coin, The Maria Sanchez Show is glad to commemorate a woman finally making it onto American currency on December 13th.

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