Dear Commons Community,
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced yesterday that Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill. She will be the first woman and the first African-American to appear on the face of United States currency. Lew also announced that changes will be made to the $10 and $5 bills. As reported by various media:
Lew said the back of the $20 will feature an image of the White House as well as an image of Jackson. Lew said the image may reflect a statue of Jackson that sits in Lafayette Square, located across from the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington.
Lew also announced that leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote will be featured on the back of the $10 bill. Alexander Hamilton will remain the face of that bill. A new design of the back of the $5 bill will reflect historic moments that took place at the Lincoln Memorial, like Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Lew and U.S. Treasurer Rosa Rios said the Treasury Department has “every intention and commitment” to reveal the new designs of all three bills by 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Lew and Rios said the $10 will be the first to go into circulation, due to security needs.
Lew and Rios did not give an exact timeline for the circulation of the new $20 and $5, saying the process would begin as soon as technology and security issues would allow.
Lew said he made the decision to make Tubman the new face of the $20 after hearing from the American people through roundtables, town halls and in online discussions.
“We heard from a lot of people who had different ideas about what should go on which bill, what should go on the front, what should be on the back, and we’ve taken the view that, A) we couldn’t wait, and B) the next bill that comes out has to tell a powerful story,” Lew told reporters.
“The life of Harriet Tubman is really one of the great American stories,” Lew added later, noting that Tubman “was not well compensated for much of her life.”