NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The United States Mint has announced that a New Mexico woman will be among the first honored during the first year of the American Women Quarters Program. Adelina Otero-Warren has been recognized by the U.S. Mint as being a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools.
According to the National Park Service, Otero-Warren was born at her family’s hacienda near Los Lunas in 1881 and as an adult was active in New Mexico politics, working towards women’s suffrage. NPS reports that Otero-Warren insisted suffrage literature be published in both English and Spanish to reach the widest audience and in 1921 ran for federal office, campaigning to be the Republican Party nominee for New Mexico to the US House of Representatives, losing the election by less than 9%.
Otero-Warren was also reported to have been superintendent of public schools in Santa Fe County from 1918 until 1929. NPS states she was also appointed Santa Fe County’s Inspector of Indian Schools for several years starting in 1923.
Otero-Warren will join Wilma Mankiller, the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, as honorees in the program. The U.S. Mint states that designs reflecting the women along with author Maya Angelou and astronaut Dr. Sally Ride will be featured on circulating and numbered American Women Quarters Program coins starting in 2022.
The program will feature coins with tails designs that portray the accomplishments of distinguished American women that come from a wide range of fields including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, space, science, and the arts. A press release from the U.S. Mint states that the women will also come from ethnically, geographically, and racially diverse backgrounds.
No living women will be featured on the coins and the Mint will issue up to five coins with different reverse designs annually from 2022 through 2025. The heads of the coins in the program will continue to feature George Washington.