Historic women will be honored in news series of U.S. currency

Women are going to be dominating U.S. currency, at least as far as the graphics are concerned.

The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday that African-American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom, will replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill.

The new $5 will honor historic events that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial and will feature Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt. The face of the new $5 will retain the portrait of President Lincoln.

The new $10 will celebrate the history of the women’s suffrage movement, and feature images of Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul, alongside the Treasury building. The front of the new $10 will retain the portrait of Alexander Hamilton.

The reverse of the new $20 will depict the White House and an image of President Andrew Jackson.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew confirmed Wednesday that Ms. Tubman will be the first African-American featured on U.S. currency, and the first woman on paper currency in more than 100 years.

He did not indicate when the new bill would be in circulation.

Lew originally announced his intention to put a woman on the $10 bill last June, but has since faced pressure from various groups and individuals to rethink the $20.

Andrew Jackson, the former president featured on the $20 bill, was responsible for the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which started what was known as the Trail of Tears, a forced migration on which thousands of Native Americans died.

Ms. Tubman grew up a slave in Maryland. Born Araminta Ross in 1822, most historians believe she was taken from her parents and put to work when she was barely 6 years old. A brutal beating at the age of 12 caused her to suffer from seizures the rest of her life. She was a devout Christian and experienced visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God.

As a young woman, she married John Tubman. She escaped with the help of a white neighbor, who gave her the names of people who would hide her during her travels north.

Harriet Tubman returned to Maryland for members of her family and other slaves, making the trip about 20 times to lead more people to freedom. They traveled at night along backroads and waterways, and historians say Ms. Tubman would pull a gun on anyone who threatened to back out.

The new bills will present a challenge to those in the tourism business.  The U.S. Treasury is expected to embark on a public relations campaign with posters to alert those in business, particularly those overseas, about the changes in the bills.

Harriet Tubman will become the face of the new U.S. $20 bill, although U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew did not say Wednesday exactly when this would happen. Ms. Tubman is known for smuggling slaves to freedom in the U.S. North before the U.S. Civil War when she became a Union spy.

Harriet Tubman will become the face of the new U.S. $20 bill, although U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew did not say Wednesday exactly when this would happen. Ms. Tubman is known for smuggling slaves to freedom in the U.S. North before the U.S. Civil War when she became a Union spy.

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