Which woman should appear on $10 bill?

2015-06-19 08:27
A statue of Harriet Tubman.

A statue of Harriet Tubman. (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Harriet Tubman? Eleanor Roosevelt? Rosa Parks?

Speculation is rising over which American woman will be chosen to grace the $10 bill, which has featured Alexander Hamilton since 1929. The answer will come sometime after summer, after Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew considers suggestions from anyone who wants to offer one, through town hall meetings or online.

Whoever is chosen by Lew will be the first woman to appear on US paper currency in more than a century.

The bill's actual design won't be unveiled until 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

Treasury has created a website for Americans to submit suggestions. The public can propose both which woman should be chosen and which symbols of democracy should be included in the redesigned bill. Comments can also be submitted on Twitter using the hashtag #TheNew10.

"We are asking the American people to tell us what democracy means to them," Lew told reporters. "Their feedback will shape what the new bill will look like."

The first information sessions will be in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 24 and Washington on July 15 at the two printing facilities that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses to produce the nation's paper money.

The effort to put a woman on the currency began as a grassroots effort with a group known as Women on 20s launching a petition campaign to urge President Barack Obama to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with a woman.

Last summer, Obama expressed support for the effort. He said he had received a letter from a young girl suggesting such a change.

In a speech on Thursday, Lew said the young letter writer, a 9-year-old third grader named Sofia, had triggered an outpouring of support.

"Sofia's letter clearly struck a chord with Americans across the country, with thousands of our fellow citizens responding to her letter," Lew told an audience at the National Archives where he outlined plans for the currency change, calling it a "small step with big significance."

Lew offered no hints of which he might choose, saying he first wanted to hear the views of the public. But the Women on 20s group conducted an Internet poll in which more than 600 000 votes were cast. Harriet Tubman, the African-American abolitionist, emerged as the winner.

In that poll, which asked people to first pick three finalists from among 15 women, Eleanor Roosevelt came in second, followed by Rosa Parks, the civil rights heroine, and Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation.

By law, only the portrait of a deceased person can appear on the nation's banknotes.

Treasury officials said that Hamilton, the nation's first Treasury secretary, will not disappear from the redesigned $10 bill. They said they expect his image to be retained in some way on the redesigned bill.

"There are many options for continuing to honour Hamilton," the Treasury said in a fact sheet. "While one option is producing two bills, we are exploring a variety of possibilities."

The redesign of the $10 bill is the first since 2006, when new security features were added. A change in portraits on the bills is rare. The last such changes occurred between 1914 and 1928.

The paper currency has been an all-male domain for more than a century. The last woman featured on US paper money was Martha Washington, who appeared on a dollar silver certificate from 1891 to 1896. The only other woman featured on US paper money was Pocahontas, from 1865 to 1869. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea are on dollar coins.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, who is sponsoring legislation to put a woman on the $20 bill, praised Lew for his decision to put a woman on the $10.

"While it may not be the $20 bill, make no mistake," Shaheen said. "This is a historic announcement."

Read more on:    us  |  economy  |  gender equality

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.