The Associated Press reports U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has decided abolitionist Harriet Tubman, a Black woman who freed hundreds of slaves in the mid-19th century, will replace former U.S. president and known slave owner Andrew Jackson on the country’s $20 bill. It will mark the first time in more than a century a woman has been on U.S. paper money.
In fact, Tubman will be the first woman to be on a U.S. banknote since first First Lady Martha Washington was depicted on the $1 silver certificates of 1891. The Treasury Department official spoke to Associated Press reporters anonymously in advance of Lew’s official announcement, which is expected to come later today and provide further details on changes being made to the $5 , $10 and $20 American bills.
A woman, a leader, and a freedom fighter. I can't think of a better choice for the $20 bill than Harriet Tubman: https://t.co/YcsZC4ZrKg -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 20, 2016
Since the news broke, social media has been abuzz. U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she “can’t think of a better choice” for the new $20, which might not enter circulation until as late as 2030, CNN reports.
The next U.S. banknote slated for a redesign is the $10 bill, which will introduce updated anti-counterfeiting measures when it’s unveiled in 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of U.S. women getting the right to vote.
It’s expected Lew will make things clear in his announcement later today. Check back soon for more information.
— Marina Koren (@marinakoren) April 20, 2016