The U.S. Department of Treasury is giving the $10 a facelift. Although many thought Andrew Jackson was getting replaced, the new $10 bill will be unveiled in 2020. 2020 is important because it marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote.
Though public comment will be taken into account, the buck stops with Secretary Jack Lew for the final decision on which woman will appear on the bill. Not even President Obama has the power to trump Lew in this particular case.
“It will be my decision,” Lew said. “Obviously, I share my views on a regular basis on a wide variety of issues with the president but it’s my decision.”
Martha Washington was the last woman whose face appeared on U.S. currency — the Silver Dollar certificate, which was in circulation between 1891 and 1896. Pocahontas was also featured on a $20 currency note in group photo in during the mid-19th century.
Women appear on some U.S. coins: Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony appear on dollar coins; Hellen Keller on a quarter.
The only legal limitation to upgrading the $10 bill is that the person can’t be still living, and that $1 is permanently George Washington’s turf.
Earlier this year, Women on 20s, made an effort with Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to get a woman’s face on the $20.
“While it might not be the twenty dollar bill, make no mistake, this is a historic announcement and a big step forward,” Shaheen said in a statement Wednesday. “Young girls across this country will soon be able to see an inspiring woman on the ten dollar bill who helped shape our country into what is today and know that they too can grow up and do something great for their country.”
Finalists in the grassroots campaign to pick a woman to grace the $20 note were abolitionist Harriet Tubman, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks, and the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation Wilma Mankiller.