Update: America Wants Harriet Tubman To Grace The $20 Bill

May 12, 2015  |  

Update: It was a battle between four extraordinary American women: Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Wilma Mankiller, but there can only be one woman on the $20 bill.  And Harriet Tubman, like the fighter she’s always been, came out on top, according to USA Today. Tubman is America’s No.1 choice to grace the $20 bill.

“Right now, our currency is very male and very white,” USA Today said. And WomenOn20s, the grassroots group that spearheaded the vote, is campaigning to change that. “A woman’s place is on the money,” their mission statement states.

WomenOn20s conducted two rounds of voting. After the first round, there were four finalists: Tubman, of course, along with Roosevelt, Parks, and Mankiller. Tubman basks in victory with 118,328 votes while Roosevelt came in second with 111,227 votes. Tubman not only fits Women on 20s’ description of an “inspiring woman,” but gives the $20 some special significance:

“Tubman was paid $20 per month as a modified widow pension for her service to the Union during the Civil War,” Boston.com said.

Now that we know which revolutionary woman America wants in their wallet, Women on 20s will have to go through the Department of the Treasury to make their plan a reality.

WomenOn20s (and many others) is determined to shove Andrew Jackson, the current star of the $20 bill, out the way. Jackson, a former slave owner and supporter of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, needs to make room for a real pioneer: The “conductor” of the Underground Railroad.

“Our work won’t be done until we’re holding a Harriet $20 bill in our hands in time for the centennial of women’s suffrage in 2020,” Susan Ades Stone, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

Update by Kimberly Gedeon


Originally posted April 8, 2015

Last month, a group called WomenOn20s proposed that the face on the $20 bill be changed to a woman. Founder Barbara Ortiz Howard allowed people to send in suggestions, and they received 256,659 in all. And the field of women to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 has been narrowed down to four.

“From 15 contenders in a “robust” five-week “primary round” that ended Sunday, voters selected Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, WomenOn20s said. The competition began with 100 candidates, reports USA Today.

While the final ballot is still open, more than half of the Internet voters chose Roosevelt, Tubman and Parks as one of their top three, the group said. The organization added Mankiller to the final ballot “because of strong sentiment” that a Native American should be a candidate to replace Jackson, who was not only a slave owner but enacted Indian Removal Act of 1830, which relocated several tribes and led to the Trail of Tears during which 4,000 Cherokee people died. Mankiller died in 2010. She was the first female chief of the Cherokee people.

WomenOn20s plans to petition the White House to make the change by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. If the petition is successful, it would the first time a woman has been on U.S. paper currency.

What woman would you vote to put on the $20 bill?

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