2020 Harriet Tubman $20

We were just looking at a New York Daily News article the other day that said the decision was made to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, but it wasn’t supposed to happen until 2030. Well, that information has changed with a Treasury Department announcement on April 20th.

The New York Times reports that in just 4 years, the new $20 bill design will be unveiled. Harriet Tubman will be appearing on the front of the $20 bill. Andrew Jackson is being moved to the back of the bill.

In an open letter, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew wrote:

The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old. 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….

Looking back on her life, Tubman once said, “I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.” And she did fight, for the freedom of slaves and for the right of women to vote. Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embodies the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we will continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency. The reverse of the new $20 will continue to feature the White House as well as an image of President Andrew Jackson.

More Changes to Come

Alexander Hamilton is staying on the front of the $10 bill but the back will be changed to depict the women’s suffrage movement against the backdrop of the Treasury building. “The new $10 design will depict that historic march and honor Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul for their contributions to the suffrage movement.”

The $5 bill will still show Honest Abe, but the back will be changed to show historic events that took place at the Lincoln Memorial, such as opera singer Marian Anderson’s 1939 performance and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

The redesigned $10 bill is slated to be the first in circulation, although it is not clear right now when all these new bills will be in circulation.

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3 Responses

  1. TR says:

    Fantastic choice. I’m perplexed that there was ever an idea to take Hamilton (first Sec.Treasury, one of the most important figures in American financial history) off the $10, but Andrew Jackson? Eh.

    Also, their ideas for the back of the bills sound ambitious and well meaning, but a bit cluttered. Hopefully they nail the design and do the figures/events justice.

    • VJ says:

      @TR, in the NY Times article I linked to, Binyamin Applebaum says we ought to follow the UK’s example of rotating notable Americans from all fields on the currency —

      “Rotating the honor would allow recognition for a broader group of notable Americans, and it would take the pressure off each decision.”

      I think that’s a cool idea.

  2. EricS says:

    Great tribute to a great person