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Harriet Tubman to Grace $20 Bill

Last year, the U.S. Treasury announced that a woman’s face was in consideration to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten-dollar bill. It was nothing against Hamilton; the ten was the next denomination of paper currency due for a redesign. But while the public was open to a woman on currency, they decried losing Hamilton. After all, he created the Treasury Department and set up our financial system. And Hamilton is undergoing a popularity revival because of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show Hamilton. The public had a better idea: replace Andrew Jackson, who was not only a slave trader and signed the Indian Removal Act, but also hated the very idea of paper money. It was a lot for the Treasury Department to think about, and they made the logical decision.   

“Today, I’m excited to announce that for the first time in more than a century, the front of our currency will feature the portrait of a woman, Harriet Tubman, on the $20 note,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told reporters during a conference call Wednesday afternoon.

Harriet Tubman was a slave who escaped and returned to the South again and again to guide other slaves to freedom. She was a scout and a spy during the Civil War. Toward the end of her life, she campaigned for women’s suffrage. This story shows how appropriate it will be to have Tubman on the twenty.   

The Treasury also plans to incorporate heroes of the women’s suffrage movement on the back of the ten-dollar bill and leaders from the civil rights era on the back of the five-dollar bill. As for the twenty, Andrew Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill. The new $20 bills are expected to be ready by 2020. -via Metafilter 


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