The entire time America has existed as we now know it, the faces on our currency have always been men. Currently, our bills feature George Washington on the $1 bill, Thomas Jefferson on the $2 bill, Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill, Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill, Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill, and–while I’ve personally never seen any of these–William McKinley is on the $500 bill, Grover Cleveland on the $1,000 bill, James Madison on the $5,000 bill, Salmon P. Chase on the $10,000 bill and Woodrow Wilson on the $100,000 bill.
On June 4, 2015 Jeanne Shaheen (D), along with Dianne Feinstein (D), Sheldon Whitehouse (D), Mazie Hirono (D), Tammy Baldwin (D), Kirsten Gillbrand (D), Dick Durbin (D) and Angus King (I) all presented a letter to President Obama calling for a change. Specifically, to change the $20 bill. Based on an online poll, voters want to see Harriet Tubman replace Andrew Jackson. Hillary Clinton agrees.
Runners up in the poll included Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Wilma Mankiller. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) presented his argument for Harriet Tubman’s likeness on the bill:
She was an agitator. She was a subversive. She used the tools of social change to improve America. She fought for the little guy against the strong guy. And she was willing to put herself at great risk to ensure the justice for others. And she was a woman and she was black. In other words, she is an ideal American.
If Treasury Department and President Obama agree, the bill will likely look like this:
According to the campaign website:
We believe this simple, symbolic and long-overdue change could be an important stepping stone for other initiatives promoting gender equality. Our money does say something about us, about what we value.
Currently, 10 other countries have women on their currency including Syria, Phillipines, Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, Israel, Sweden, Australia and England. It’s time for the United States to recognize the women that shaped our world.
Featured image via 123RF