Harriet Tubman to Replace Andrew Jackson on $20 Bill

"Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy"

Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, making her the first ever African American and the first woman on U.S. currency in 100 years, the Treasury said Wednesday. 

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Tubman, a 19th century abolitionist who was born a slave and led the Underground Railroad, will be featured on the front of the $20 bill. Jackson, the nation's seventh president, will move to the back of the bill.

Lew said his decision to feature Tubman on the $20 bill "was driven by thousands of responses" to his announcement last June that the new $10 bill would feature a woman.

Alexander Hamilton will remain on the front of the $10 bill, but the back will be redesigned with leaders of the suffrage movement, including Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul, according to Lew.

"I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy. You shared your thoughts about her life and her works and how they changed our nation and represented our most cherished values," Lew said in an open letter announcing his decision Wednesday.

The back of the $5 bill will be redesigned to honor "events at the Lincoln Memorial that helped to shape our history and our democracy" and include civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., along with Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt, according to Lew.

"Since we began this process, we have heard overwhelming encouragement from Americans to look at notes beyond the $10. Based on this input, I have directed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to accelerate plans for the redesign of the $20, $10, and $5 notes," Lew said in the letter.

All three bills will be unveiled in 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, but "due to security needs," the new $10 bill will go into circulation first, Lew said.

Lew had often cited that connection as a reason to put a woman on the $10 bill.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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