Here's How to Shake Up Faces on Our Currency

Steve Inskeep: Let's start using the 'flip side' of the bills
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2015 12:06 PM CDT
Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill.   (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

(Newser) – A movement is afoot to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, but NPR's Steve Inskeep, the author of a coming book on the man, has a different idea: Move him to the back and put somebody else on the front. Inskeep's choice is Cherokee leader John Ross, he writes in the New York Times. The two men played important, often opposing, roles in American history, and Inskeep thinks the dual treatment on the bill is not only fitting—democracy, after all, "is a conflict of interests and ideas"—but could set a precedent for other bills.

"Lincoln could share the $5 bill with Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who prodded him to move faster to end slavery," he writes. "Ulysses S. Grant could share the $50 bill with Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin did as much to start the Civil War as Grant’s armies did to end it." Or maybe a civil rights theme with Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez? The potential pairings are fascinating, and Inskeep thinks it's high time we started making different use of the "flip side" of our bills. Click to read the full column.

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