Leaving a legacy that included the violent removal of Native Americans (also known as the “Trail of Tears”) from the south, President Andrew Jackson has long been a polarizing figure within American history. In an ironic twist of fate, the former slave owner may be vacating his place on the $20 bill in favor of the heroic Harriet Tubman, known for guiding hundreds of men and women to freedom via the Underground Railroad.
In a campaign led by group Women on 20s, an online vote was held to determine just who should succeed Jackson on the bill. After an intial vote the nominees were whittled down to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, Cherokee nation leader Wilma Mankiller and of course Tubman, who garnered over 600,000 votes. With the anniversary of the 19th amendment (which granted women the right to vote) on the horizon, it’s up to the U.S. Department of Treasury to agree to actually implement the change, though President Obama is reportedly on board with the possibility of updating the bill.
If put into effect the change will break a longstanding tradition as the seven bills already in circulation only feature white male historical figures including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. According to the group the goal is, “to order the Secretary of the Treasury to change the current portrait portrayed on our American $20 bank note to reflect the remarkable accomplishments of an exemplary American woman who has helped shape our Nation’s great history.”
This story is still developing.