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article imageAndrew Jackson out, Harriet Tubman in on new U.S. $20 bill

By Nathan Salant     Apr 21, 2016 in Business
Washington - A Treasury official says Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years.
Tubman, a former slave who became a noted abolitionist, will be the first African American woman ever pictured on a U.S. bill, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also said Wednesday that other changes will be coming to U.S. currency in the next five years, including the relocation of Andrew Jackson's iconic portrait to the back of the $20 bill, a new drawing of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill and a new picture of the Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.
The bill redesigns are expected to be ready by 2020, the AP said.
Tubman, who was born a slave, helped found the Underground Railway that helped slaves who escaped from plantations in the U.S. south and campaigned for women's suffrage after the Civil War.
"Not only is this going to be the first African-American historical figure on U.S. currency, but it's a woman specifically from the era of slavery," said Indiana University historian Amrita Myers.
Jackson was the United States' seventh president from 1829-1837 and had been celebrated for his commitment to democracy but recent revisions of his historical reputation have focused on his role in the forcible relocation of Native Americans and his having owned slaves, the AP said.
"Jackson at one time was mainly known as the champion of democracy and the defender of the union and the champion of the common man against aggregated wealth and bankers," said University of Tennessee history professor Daniel Feller, who is in charge of preserving Jackson's presidential papers.
Lew also decided to keep Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, on the $10 bill but to change the back illustration from the Treasury building to commemorate a 1913 suffrage march that featured historical leaders including Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony.
The back of the $20 bill also will be designed to include Jackson and the White House.
Other planned changes include to the back illustration of the $5 bill, which will included pictures commemorating historic events at the Lincoln Memorial, where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous "I have a dream" speech in 1963.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the first woman to head the central bank, said she welcomed the decision to honor the achievements of women in American history.
The only women previously featured on U.S. paper money was Martha Washington from 1891 to 1896 and Pocahontas from 1865 to 1869, the AP said.
Renderings of Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea are presently on dollar coins.
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