Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
Susan B. Anthony Dollar (1979–1981)
Hi, everyone. It's Goldie, the Mint Fish. While swimming in my favorite pond, I discovered this cool coin. My friends at the United States Mint told me that it's the Susan B. Anthony dollar (1979–1981). Bummer! I thought it might be one of those ancient coins worth big bucks, but the Susan Bs are still in circulation. Look around. Your parents may have one at home.
Susan B. Anthony's (1820–1906) brave fight to get women the right to vote earned her a place on the dollar coin. She is known as a founder of the women's sufferage movement.
In the mid-1800s, when Anthony began campaigning, women had few rights at all. They could not speak freely in public, own property, or enter educational or professional fields on an equal footing with men. Susan B. Anthony fought for women to have equal rights throughout society, and the right to vote was the hardest won battle of all.
How did Anthony do it? She used bold, unconventional techniques like speaking out at public meetings, even though she wasn't legally allowed to. She also voted illegally and was arrested. She traveled tirelessly across the country sheltering women hurt by what she considered unfair laws. Most important, she didn't give up. I've never met a fish as persistent as she was!
Can you guess why this dollar coin is August coin of the month? Try swishing around in the pond. Maybe it'll come to you. Swish-swash-swoosh. Ah. Don't know? I gotcha. It's because the law that finally gave women the right to vote—the 19th Amendment to the Constitution—was passed on August 26, 1920, fourteen years after Susan B. Anthony died.
A Susan B. dollar is well worth finding and saving. Since it didn't gain widespread public acceptance, the Mint stopped producing the coin in 1981. Add one to your collection. Save it so you can show it to your children. You can tell them all about this courageous woman and famous suffragist!