Back in July, President Obama called putting a woman’s face on American currency “a pretty good idea.” Soon, that idea will become a reality.
Amid a nationwide campaign to replace Andrew Jackson with a woman on the $20 bill, the Treasury Department on Wednesday announced in a conference call that starting in 2020 – the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote – there will indeed be a woman on the new, democracy-themed $10 bill.
Who will it be? That’s up to you. The Treasury is asking the American public to weigh in with suggestions using the hashtag #New10 on social media platforms, or by visiting the website thenew10.treasury.gov. According to the guidelines, the woman should be an historical figure, not someone who is currently alive.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew – who will make the final determination – said he will announce which woman will replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill later this year.
In addition to its new face, the new $10 bill will include what the Treasury called “a tactile feature that increases accessibility for the visually impaired,” noting that the redesign’s primary purpose is to thwart counterfeiters.
“America’s currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for,” Lew said in a statement. “Our paper bills – and the images of great American leaders and symbols they depict – have long been a way for us to honor our past and express our values.”
The last women to appear on American paper currency was Martha Washington, who was on the $1 silver certificate from 1891 until 1896.