HomePasifikaU.S. Mint honors Patsy Takemoto Mink's legacy with quarter design

U.S. Mint honors Patsy Takemoto Mink’s legacy with quarter design

Former U.S. Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink from Hawaiʻi will be honored by a commemorative quarter as part of the United States Mint’s American Women Quarters Program, Honolulu Civil Beat reports. The 2024 collection also recognizes the accomplishments of Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Celia Cruz and Zitkala-Ša.

“I am honored to announce the designs of the 2024 American Women’s Quarters Program,” Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said according to a press release. “These beautiful designs recognize the achievements of these extraordinary women, and add to the Mint’s rich history of telling our Nation’s story through enduring examples of numismatic art.”

Mink, who passed away in 2002 at 75, was a third-generation Japanese American born in Maui, Hawaiʻi. She was the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman ever elected to Congress, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.

Across her decades-long career in politics, one of Mink’s most significant achievements was the passage of Title IX, a federal civil rights law that protects against sex-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds. Mink was a major author and sponsor of Title IX, and after her death, its official name was changed to the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in her honor, according to TIME.

The quarter that now bears Mink’s likeness was designed by Beth Zaiken of the Artistics Infusion Program and sculpted by John P. McGraw, the United States Mint Medallic Artist.

The reverse (tails) design of the coin features Mink holding her landmark Title IX legislation with the south wing of the U.S. Capitol Building—where the U.S. House of Representatives meet—rising up behind her. She wears a lei around her neck, representing her home state of Hawaiʻi.

The inscriptions across the face of the coin include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “PATSY TAKEMOTO MINK,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (the U.S. motto in Latin, which translates to “out of many, one”), “25 CENTS” and “EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN EDUCATION.”

The obverse (heads) design of the coin still depicts George Washington, originally designed by Laura Gardin Fraser for Washington’s 200th birthday. Though it was recommended for the 1932 quarter, Fraser’s design was ultimately rejected in favor of the portrait we have now, designed by John Flanagan.

The American Quarters Program, which began in 2021 and will run through 2025, will see the release of five quarters per year. The women to be honored are chosen in consultation with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, the National Women’s History Museum, and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) celebrated the announcement of the design on Twitter, writing, “My friend Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress and a devoted champion of advancing gender equity who led the charge to pass Title IX. I’m glad to see her service and iconic legacy being honored by [the U.S. Mint].”

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