A Day Celebrating Eleanor Roosevelt

By Robyn Showanes
June 13, 2023

six people grouped around a table with a suitcase and books
Panel discussion participants at the Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter event in New York.

The U.S. Mint celebrated the Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter during two events in Hyde Park, New York, on June 8, 2023. The Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter is the third release in 2023, and the eighth coin overall in the American Women Quarters™ (AWQ) Program. Both events were made possible thanks to the work of our partners: the National Park Service (NPS); the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM); and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

The first event, which was open to the public, took place at the Culinary Institute of America in their Ecolab Auditorium. Attendees included many students from local schools, including the Haviland Middle School orchestra and choir who performed a musical interlude during the program.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 600, United States Mint Chief Counsel John Schorn said:

“At the Mint, we see the work we do as ‘Connecting America through Coins.’ It is our distinct pleasure to connect Americans to Eleanor Roosevelt, who is well known as a leader, reformer, first lady, and author.”

Eleanor Roosevelt’s great-granddaughter, Perrin Roosevelt Ireland, also spoke to the crowd about the importance of the Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter.

“As we spend each quarter with her likeness on its face, I hope each of us will take the opportunity to consider what work it is our own duty to carry forward today to ensure that Eleanor’s unified vision for world peace has a chance in our current moment.”

The event continued with a panel discussion featuring Jennifer Herrera (NWHM) as the moderator. Participants included: Perrin Roosevelt Ireland, Roosevelt family representative; Michele Thompson, U.S. Mint program lead for the AWQ Program; and Bill Harris, Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

When asked, “What qualities, accomplishments, or experiences of Eleanor Roosevelt contributed to her status as a national symbol?” Bill Harris replied:

“She was able to use the platform that she had to promote and advocate for people all across this country and the world. It’s important to think about the role of the first lady before Eleanor Roosevelt and the role of the first lady after. I would say that the twelve years she was in that role that it is a remarkable period unlike any other tenure of a first lady.”

The event concluded with a coin pour, a ceremonial way of introducing the coin to the public. Perrin Roosevelt Ireland; Amy Bracewell, Superintendent, NPS; Bill Harris; and John Schorn emptied 2,000 Eleanor Roosevelt quarters into a suitcase surrounded by books, symbolic of Eleanor Roosevelt’s prolific writing and traveling.

The second event was a luncheon held at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site at Val-Kill. Approximately 30 guests attended the event where they enjoyed a hot dog lunch, a homage to when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt hosted King George and Queen Elizabeth for a similar hot dog luncheon in Hyde Park on June 11, 1939.

Eleanor Roosevelt is well known as a leader, reformer, first lady, and author. Appointed by President Truman to the United Nations General Assembly, she served as the first chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, advocating diligently for the civil liberties and needs of the poor, minorities, and the disadvantaged. Her advocacy efforts culminated in the drafting and passage of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The reverse of the Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Designer Don Everhart, and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell.

Val-Kill Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site sign with Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter poster in front

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