Harriet Tubman to Replace Andrew Jackson on the Face of the $20 Bill

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 2.29.59 PMTreasury Secretary Jack Lew announced on Wednesday that President Andrew Jackson will be replaced by Harriet Tubman 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. Contrary to previous statements, Hamilton will still be the face of the bill.

As the Wall Street Journal mentioned on Tuesday, Lew said in a memo to President Barack Obama in 2015 that he planned on removing Hamilton from the $10, replacing him with Susan B. Anthony. Lew also noted in that memo that he wanted to curb production of the penny.

According to The New York Times, women’s group were concerned about whether the broadway production Hamilton would influence Lee’s decision. 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 be immediate. CNN reported Sunday the fastest 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 reasonably appear on the $20 bill.

There’s been a strong push for female inclusion on money, 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, edging 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.

Lawmakers have also joined in on the political movement, with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introducing a bill in April 2015 to get a woman on the $20 bill. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) proposed a bill the same month that would require Lew to take into account the actions of others.

Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) composed 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.

About Jesse Anderson

Jesse Anderson has written extensively about legal matters and current events. She offers fresh perspectives on controversial issues and consistently reports objectively on notable political cases. Anderson grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and frequently volunteers for organizations like Civic Works, RAINN and Kids Against Hunger. She hopes to change the face of politics and make a positive impact on the world around her.

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