This April was the second anniversary of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s announcement regarding Harriet Tubman replacing seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson on the obverse of a forthcoming $20 banknote.
Lew, who also announced the government’s new $5 and $10 notes would be revised to recognize women’s rights and civil rights movements, said the first note – this depicting Tubman – would enter circulation in 2020, during the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in the U.S.
Last year, however, Lew’s successor, Steven Mnuchin, told CNBC: “Ultimately we will be looking at this issue. It’s not something I’m focused on at the moment. People have been on the bills for a long period of time. And this is something we will consider. Right now, we’ve got a lot more important issues to focus on.”
According to Politifact, U.S. President Donald Trump has “invoked and praised” Jackson, whose portrait is hung in the Oval Office.
Tubman, a Black woman who freed hundreds of slaves in the mid-19th century, would 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. Tubman was responsible for guiding enslaved African Americans to St. Catharines, Ont. as part of the Underground Railroad.