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Treasury Secretary Confirms Andrew Jackson Won’t Be Leaving the $20 Bill Entirely


Earlier today, we learned that the Treasury Department was planning a significant overhaul to American currency, including replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, and adding women to the back of the $10. In a Medium post this afternoon, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew detailed the changes, and confirmed that Jackson won’t be entirely removed from the $20 bill:

Looking back on her life, Tubman once said, “I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.” And she did fight, for the freedom of slaves and for the right of women to vote. Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embodies the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we will continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency. The reverse of the new $20 will continue to feature the White House as well as an image of President Andrew Jackson.

Lew’s post doesn’t address why Jackson, who notoriously hated the Second Bank of the United States, should remain on any paper currency, particularly a bill honoring Harriet Tubman, whose fight for liberty was in direct opposition to his racism. Yes, the American Treasury is finally honoring Harriet Tubman, but they’re doing so while also continuing to enshrine a white supremacist.

In less infuriating news, Lews revealed that the new $10 bill design “will honor Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul for their contributions to the suffrage movement. The front of the new $10 will continue to feature Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Treasury Secretary and the architect of our economic system.”

The new $5 bill will continue to feature Lincoln on the front, but the reverse side will honor great moments in civil rights history that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial. Lew wrote:

In 1939, at a time when Washington’s concert halls were still segregated, world-renowned Opera singer Marian Anderson helped advance civil rights when, with the support of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, she performed at the Lincoln Memorial in front of 75,000 people. And in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the same monument in front of hundreds of thousands.

Lew estimates all new notes will be revealed by 2020.

(via Mediaite, image via Shutterstock)

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