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A Wave of Women Joining Tubman on US Currency

Martin Luther King Jr. will be joining them in 2020
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2016 5:23 AM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2016 6:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – After more than a century without any women on American paper money, there will soon be at least eight to choose from. The Treasury unveiled its plans for the new $20, $10, and $5 bills Wednesday, revealing that in addition to Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20, suffragette and antislavery figures Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul will be on the new $10, which will keep Alexander Hamilton on the front. The new $5 will feature Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt on the back, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. A roundup of coverage:

  • Andrew Jackson will be moving to the back of the $20, but a lot of people want him gone altogether, reports NBC News, which notes that for some, replacing the slave-holding Jackson with a former slave is "perfect historical payback."

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  • The Wall Street Journal contrasts the life stories of Tubman and Jackson, who fought to kill off the predecessor to the Federal Reserve.
  • The New York Times recaps the stories of all the new faces coming to US currency, including Sojourner Truth, who was best known for her 1851 "Ain't I a Woman" address.
  • CNN reports that Ben Carson has called for keeping Jackson where he is on the $20 and putting Tubman on the $2 bill instead. He didn't say what he wants to do with Thomas Jefferson, who's currently on the little-used bill.
  • At the Washington Post, Philip Kennicott argues that the $20 should feature not the "primly dressed" and "grandmotherly" woman most images of Tubman depict, but the "ferociously brave and determined woman" depicted holding a gun in what was a "shockingly confrontational image" at the time.
  • Change for the $20 will take time: The redesigns won't be unveiled until 2020, the Guardian reports.
  • In a Medium post, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew explains the changes and why Tubman was chosen for the $20.
(Read more Treasury Department stories.)

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