Politico reports that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will announce several changes to American currency today. Harriet Tubman is expected to appear in some capacity on the $20, leaders of the women’s suffrage movement will appear on the back of the $10, and $5 bills will be altered to include pictures of leaders from the Civil Rights movement.
Lew faced criticism last summer when he contemplated replacing Alexander Hamilton on the $10 with a woman. He later affirmed his commitment to the Founding Father, noting to Politico, “There are a number of options of how we can resolve this. We’re not taking Alexander Hamilton off our currency.”
According to The Atlantic’s Yoni Appelbaum, the $20 bill has a special significance for Tubman. Read a Twitter version of that story below.
1. Harriet Tubman’s first biographer, Sarah Hopkins Bradford, tells a remarkable story about the anti-slavery hero.— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) April 20, 2016
2. Tubman had an intimation that her parents, still held as slaves in Maryland, were in trouble. She needed funds to effect their rescue.— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) April 20, 2016
3. Tubman marched into the New York office of abolitionist Oliver Johnson, and staged a sit-down hunger strike to secure the necessary funds— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) April 20, 2016
5. When she fell asleep, people who heard of her plight stuffed $60 into her pockets. She journeyed south, and brought her father to freedom— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) April 20, 2016
6. “I want twenty dollars,” Tubman said. Now, she’ll be on all of our $20 bills.— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) April 20, 2016
Update (4/20 5:38 p.m.): As NPR reports, the bill will feature Tubman on the front and Jackson on the back.
"In a statement, the Treasury also announced that the new $20 note will keep an image of Jackson, who was a slaveholder, on the back. The new $10 bill will keep Hamilton on the front but in the back feature "an image of the historic march for suffrage that ended on the steps of the Treasury Department." Leaders of that movement—Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul — will be honored in the image.“