Redesigned $10 Bill To Feature Female Face, Treasury Announces
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Now this news. All the men featured on U.S. currency are about to be joined by a woman. The government says this will happen when a new $10 bill is rolled out in 2020. NPR's Sam Sanders has the story.
SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: The push to get a woman on U.S. currency has been building for a while. There was a big, online campaign this year from a group called Women on 20s. And last year even, President Obama was talking about it during a Kansas City speech.
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U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Last week, a young girl wrote to ask me why aren't there any women on our currency.
OBAMA: And then she gave me, like, a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff.
SANDERS: Yesterday in a conference call, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said it's finally happening.
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JACK LEW: The new 10 will be the first bill in more than a century to feature the portrait of a woman.
SANDERS: Martha Washington and Pocahontas were briefly on bills, but that was in the 19th century. The new 10 is still five years away, but Lew says the decision on which woman will be on it - that'll happen sooner.
LEW: We'll complete the public outreach over the summer, and we'll make a decision after that and announce it when it's made.
SANDERS: Treasury will host town halls and gather social media feedback on who people want to see. Women on 20s held a vote to pick a woman earlier this year. Former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman won that contest. At least one person didn't like that. Blogger Feminista Jones talked to NPR member station KPCC last month. And she said that Tubman would be a bad fit for U.S. money.
FEMINISTA JONES: How did we get to Harriet Tubman being the face of the $20 bill? Do people forget that she was born into slavery and was purchased and sold?
SANDERS: Purchased and sold with the very currency she could be the face of. Whoever ends up on the new 10, she actually won't replace Alexander Hamilton completely. He's on the bill right now, and Treasury says he'll still be on some of the new bills. And, in spite of all that public outreach, Secretary Lew said the final choice, that's still up to the federal government. Sam Sanders, NPR News.