Why Is Susan B. Anthony on the One Dollar Coin?

susan-b-anthony-one-dollar-coin Credit: Stanislav Kozlovskiy/Public Domain

Susan B. Anthony appeared on one dollar coins produced and minted from the years 1979 to 1981 and then again in 1999, and she was placed on them as a way to honor her work as a women's rights activist.

Susan B. Anthony was a women's suffrage campaigner. Her work and political movements brought about the nineteenth amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The coin was the first United States coin that featured a woman from American history. While there were coins featuring Lady Liberty, she isn't a real historical woman.

The coin was designed to appear to be eleven sided, but in reality it is circular. The back of the coin features the same design as the Eisenhower one dollar coin. It is an eagle with an image of Earth in the background. This is the insignia used in the Apollo 11 space missions, and the design promotes the space missions that were still very popular and well-known at the time.

When the coin was first released, it was meant to emphasize the importance of Susan B. Anthony's work and gender equality. Negatively received, it was cut from circulation. People complained it was too close to the quarter and as such could easily be mistaken for one, while also being inconvenient to carry around. It was recirculated later to please coin collectors and once again honor Susan B. Anthony.