We recently reported on the Secretary of Treasury’s recent confirmation that a woman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill and not the $10 bill, as originally debated.
Well it has now been officially confirmed that none other than Ms. Harriet Tubman will be the woman to replace the 7th President of the United States on the $20 bill!
Lew is also expected to announce that leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote will be on the back of the $10 bill. Alexander Hamilton will remain the face of that bill.
As the Wall Street Journal pointed out Tuesday, Lew said in a memo to President Barack Obama in 2015 that he intended to remove Hamilton from the $10, replacing him with Susan B. Anthony. Lew also noted in that memo that he wanted to suspend production of the penny.
According to The New York Times, women’s groups were worried Hamilton would remain on the front of the $10 bill thanks to the popularity of the Broadway musical about him, which won a 2016 Pulitzer Prize. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and stars in “Hamilton,” tweeted in March that he had spoken to Lew about the currency change.
The change to Tubman may not take place anytime soon. CNN reported Sunday the soonest the U.S. could see the new $20 would be 2030. A Treasury official did not immediately return a request for more information on when Tubman could feasibly appear on the $20 note.
There’s been an ongoing push to get a woman on currency, with a nonprofit campaign called Women on 20s leading the push to put a woman on the $20 by 2020. Tubman was the winner of a 10-week poll conducted by the group in 2015, beating out Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and others by taking 33.6 percent of the 352,431 votes cast in the final round of the poll.
Women On 20s Executive Director Susan Ades Stone said in a statement the group didn’t want to wait until 2030 for the new currency.
“In recent days reliable sources were telling us we wouldn’t see the redesigned $20 until 2030,” Stone said. “Assuming this is true, we see today’s announcement as only a vague commitment and a continuation of the now familiar message that women have to settle for less and wait for their fair share.”
Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) penned an open letter to Lew in August, saying “there is still more to be done when it comes to gender equality.” The two led a group of 64 lawmakers that asked Lew to put a woman on the $20 while keeping Hamilton on the $10.
“[I]t is a disappointing message that Alexander Hamilton, one of the most influential interpreters of the U.S. Constitution, a passionate advocate for the abolition of slavery, and the founder of the nation’s financial system, will be removed from our currency while President Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder responsible for the Trail of Tears, fierce opponent of the central banking system, and paper currency, retains his place on the $20 bill,” they wrote.