Harriet Tubman in the $20 Bill

This is how the new $20 bill might look like in 2020.

This is how the new $20 bill might look like in 2020.

Harriet Tubman was the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad helping around 300 slaves escape, risking her live in every operation. Tubman also served as a spy and scout in the Civil War.

On April 2016 the US Treasury announced that a new design of the $20 bill will have the portrait of Harriet Tubman on the front. Andrew Jackson, who had been featured on the bill since 1928, will be moved to the back. Activists wanted to see Jackson, the seventh president, moved to the reverse of the bill because of his policy against Native Americans.

The new design is expected to be made public in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

How did it start?

In June 2015 the Treasury Department initiated a campaign to include a woman in the redesign of the $10 bill. They received millions of responses. Admirers of Alexander Hamilton worried that he would be displaced from the $10 bill. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795 and is recognized as the father of the U.S. economic system leading in the establishment of a national bank, funding to states’ debts by the Federal Government, tariffs and trade relations.

Andrew Jackson, on the other hand, did not have many supporters including a grassroots organization Women on 20s.

After consultations with the public the Treasury Department decided to keep Hamilton in the front of the $10 bill and in the back include the leaders of the suffrage movement such as Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth. They also decided to redesign the $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman whose heroism reflects American values and the power of an individual to make a difference.

After all, Tubman’s portrait will be in more US pockets as the $20 bill’s circulation volume totals 8.6 billion compared to $10 bills at 1.9 billion (as of December 2015), according to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.

 

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