It was announced Wednesday, April 20th, 2016, that Harriet Tubman will be replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This is actually just one of the many changes that are underway for the U.S. currency which is being redesigned over the next few years.
The federal court ordered the U.S. to redesign several bills to include tactile features for the blind and visually impaired back in 2008. Since then, Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, has been thrust into the spotlight as opinions for the redesign have been loudly voiced by various interest groups. Clearly Lew made his decision understanding that he would not be able to make everyone happy.
Based on the most widely circulated paper bills, it was decided to first redesign and distribute the $10 bill as it only represents 5% of all bills. Originally, interest groups were lobbying to take Hamilton off the $10 bill in favor of a woman. Hamilton dodged the bullet, though, and will continue to be the face of our $10 bills. Many people are speculating this is tied to the popularity of the Broadway musical which celebrates his legacy. While Hamilton will stay, the backs of the $10 and $5 bill are being redesigned, and will feature additional American historical figures. It’s current set to be unveiled by 2020, the 100-year-anniversary of the woman’s suffrage.
According to the Federal Reserve, the $20 note is the third most widely circulated paper bill and accounts for almost 23% of all bills in circulation. The $1 note accounts for around 30% of all bills, and the $100 note, around 28%.
Ultimately, I know that there is great interest in these newly designed bills. I personally have no problem with the changes that are being made, and I feel as though they are continuing to evolve with the culture of America.
For more details on the new historical figures who will soon be gracing the U.S. currency, read this article from the New York Times.