The law that governs the Presidential $1 Coin program includes a rule about what to do when a president doesn't have a wife during his term of office. This situation applies to Chester Arthur, whose wife, Ellen Arthur, died before he took office.
Usually, the First Spouse coin features an image of Liberty that resembles a coin that was issued during the President's term. But in the case of Chester Arthur, the law specifies that Alice Paul be depicted.
Alice Paul was a leader in the suffrage movement, the movement to allow women to vote (suffrage). Ms. Paul was born during the term of President Arthur, on January 11, 1885.
Design on Reverse
The image on the back of the coin also relates to Alice Paul and her work as a suffragist. A woman is shown marching in a suffrage parade. She is holding the American flag and wearing a banner that says "Votes for Women."
Women had been seeking the right to vote since the nation's birth. That right was granted nationally when the 19th amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1920.
By 1917, suffragists, including Alice Paul, were picketing the White House for this right. You can join the protest parade with the 1917 episode of Time Machine!