The U.S. Treasury has decided to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, moving him to the back of the bill and putting an image of African American abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front, according to media reports.
The move comes after activist groups have been pushing to put a woman on U.S. currency. The Washington Post notes that Tubman will be the first woman on a paper note since Martha Washington was taken off the $1 silver certificate.
The announcement also means that a previously announced plan to take Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill has been scrapped, and he will remain on the bill. The plan to remove former Treasury Secretary Hamilton met with fierce opposition. Hamilton is the subject of the musical production “Hamilton,” which has been a critical sensation and a mega-hit on Broadway.
The new Tubman bill won’t be showing up immediately. “The Treasury Department hopes to release the design concept for the new bills by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States,” The Post reports. The story notes that a previous report indicating the new $20 bill would be issued no sooner than 2030 sparked a backlash on social media.
“The Treasury was moved in part by a viral campaign in early 2015 to put a woman’s portrait on the new $20 bill in 2020, to mark the centennial of women’s suffrage,” The Post notes. “The group ‘Women on $20s’ received more than 600,000 online and in-person votes for a choice of 15 American women, including Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt. Tubman received the most votes.”