In June 2015, the US Treasury Department announced that the next redesign of the ten dollar bill scheduled to occur within
the next five years, a to-be-determined historical female figure will join Alexander Hamilton on the note. Treasury
Secretary Jack LEW said, "It is a signal to the world of what we think and representing all of our people in our history is
part of who we are."
Some women were surprised at the choosing of the ten dollar bill over the twenty dollar bill. A few months ago there was a campaign to put a woman on the twenty dollar bill that went viral with 600,000 votes being cast. Also, Hamilton is remaining somewhere on the bill or on a different series which leads some to question why a woman is not being singularly honored.
The Treasury Department is yet to make a decision about which woman will be featured. Lew is the one who ultimately makes the decision, but he said no woman has been chosen yet. "I have a bunch of candidates, but I am going to actually withhold my judgement until I hear from a number of more people as we go through this listening process," Lew said.In one poll, Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist, won top honors. Former first lady, activist and diplomat Eleanor Roosevelt came in a close second. The other two finalists civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Alabama, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. Even the President of the United States endorsed the idea of having a woman on the ten dollar bill. "A young girl wrote to ask me why aren't there any women on our currency, and then she gave me like a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff -- which I thought was a pretty good idea," Obama said.
Featuring a woman on the ten dollar bill won't be the first time this U.S. currency has gotten a major makeover. The 1990s were marked by America's efforts to beat counterfeiters. In 1998, the United States introduced a new design for its twenty dollar bill, in hopes of thwarting such criminals. A new ten dollar bill followed suit in 2000. In 2020, the ten dollar bill was next in line for a new makeover. 2020 also happens to be the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote. So Lew said putting a woman on it, not only made dollars, it made sense.
After nearly 120 years, "It's time for a woman to be back on our paper currency." Lew said. The decision on who will be featured could come as early as this fall.
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