SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Andrew Jackson has a female rival for his spot on the twenty dollar bill.
Women on 20s, a group that has been campaigning to replace Jackson with a woman has chosen Harriet Tubman, the 19th century abolitionist who escaped slavery and led other slaves to freedom via the ‘Underground Railroad.’
READ LATEST (4/20/16): Harriet Tubman Will Go On $20 Bill
The group tallied more than 600,000 online votes over the last few months, narrowing a long list to 4 finalists: Tubman, the late first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, whose act of defiance sparked the Montgomery bus boycotts of the 60s, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee nation. Tubman was announced the winner Tuesday.
Women on 20s now plans to petition the White House. Their goal is to have a new twenty dollar bill in circulation by the year 2020 — the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote.
“Our paper bills are like pocket monuments to great figures in our history,” said Executive Director Susan Ades Stone in a statement e-mailed to the Washington Post. “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.”
As for whether the White House will be on board, U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios told Fortune Magazine last April, “We’re engaging in a collaborative process to move the discussion forward.” She said Treasury Secretary Jack Lewis oversees currency design.
A bill was introduced to the Senate that same month to create a panel of citizens to address the issue of a putting a woman on American currency.
The U.S. lags far behind other countries. Britain, the Philippines, India, Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, and several other countries already have women on their paper currency.
AUTHOR’S FOOTNOTE: The design of the Tubman twenty dollar bill has been delayed until 2026. Information about the change was removed from the Treasury Department’s website after President Trump took office. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the delay is due to new security features, insisting it was not delayed for political reasons. Congressional supporters of the Tubman twenty – both Democrats and Republicans – have asked Mr. Mnuchin to speed up the process. (11/3/19)
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.