he obverse (heads) depicts a portrait of George Washington, originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday. A recommended design for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flanagan design.

The reverse (tails) depicts a portrait of Jovita Idar with her hands clasped. Within her body are inscriptions representing some of her greatest accomplishments and the newspapers for which she wrote.- American Women Quarters™ Program.


Laredo icon Jovita Idar to be commemorated with new quarter design that will start to be issued in 2023. The Jovita Idar Quarter is the ninth coin in the American Women Quarters™ Program.

By Nisie G Jimenez


Jovita Idár was described as a bright, artistic young girl who greatly admired her father, Nicasio Idár.  Nicasio was a dedicated activist and often brought to light the gruesome realities of being Mexican American in the early 1900s. He was the publisher and editor of La Crónica. This publication often exposed the horrors of lynching like in the case of Antonio Rodríguez, who was accused of murdering an anglo woman then hunted and lynched. La Crónica also acknowledged the need for equal rights and education for Mexican Americans, as their mission statement read, “We work for the progress and the industrial, moral and intellectual development of the Mexican inhabitants of Texas.” Nicasio was truly ahead of his time and paved the way for the Chicano movement. His young daughter watched on as her valiant father broke boundaries, and she would grow up to do the same.

            Jovita was incredibly studious but had an artistic side to her and often won prizes for her poetry. In 1903 she earned her teaching certificate. She got her first teaching job at a school just 40 miles out from Lored. She soon realized the difficulties of being a Mexican American student in a segregated school and became frustrated with the lack of proper supplies and reading material. Taxes paid by those living in these neighborhoods were meant to provide quality education, but they were not even supplied with chairs for all students. She knew action had to be taken.

Jovita Idár around 1905, General Photograph Collection/UTSA Libraries Special Collections via NYT

Jovita Idár around 1905, General Photograph Collection/UTSA Libraries Special Collections via NYT

            With the same spirit as her father, Jovita turned to one of her earliest passions- writing. She returned home to work with her two brothers at La Crónica and became a Journalist. Alongside her family, she empowered Latinos to speak up for the rights to an equal education. In 1911, La Cronica held the First Mexican Congres (the Primer Congreso Mexicano). The new organization united Mexicans on issues that impacted them, including lack of access to adequate education and economic resources. At the same time, Jovia served as the first president of the League of Mexican Women. These two organizations worked together to enhance the Latino community, and members benefited from additional teachings to further their studies. While The first Mexican Congress focused on civil liberties, the League of Mexican Women urged for more social programs and gathered donations for families in need. Jovita and her activist friend’s ability to multi-task was astounding as just on the other side of the border, the Mexican Revolution was seething and could not be ignored. 

On March 1913, Nuevo Laredo—on the Mexican side of the border—was attacked; Jovita joined the La Cruz Blanca (the White Cross) to help those injured. Her experience of the involvement of US troops at the Mexican border would not be forgotten. 

She returned home the following year and began to write for El Progreso, another progressive publication. She was quick to unmask the real character of President Woodrow Wilson and his decision to unleash the Texas Rangers and US army at the Mexican border. Texas Rangers were enraged by her writings and attempted to shut down the newspaper. Jovita refused to go down without a fight and blocked the entrance to El Progreso. Unfortunately, they gained access and destroyed the building. That same year her father passed away, and she became Publisher and Editor of  La Crónica. Jovita Idár would eventually founded her own weekly publication Evolución in 1916. But her passion for education never wavered and in 1921 founded a free kindergarten in San, Antonio Texas. 

            Before LULAC, National Farm Workers Association, Southwest Voter- there was the Idár family. The real OGs of the Chicano movement.


  •   Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Idar, Nicasio,” Handbook of Texas Online,https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/idar-nicasio.

  • Villegas de Magnón, Leonor; Lomas, Clara (2004). La rebelde. Mexico: Conaculta, Inah. ISBN 1558854150. OCLC 54103741.

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