Baku, June 19, AZERTAC
Growing numbers of Americans are going cashless, but demands to finally put a woman on paper currency persist. And now the Treasury has announced that a portrait of a woman, to be determined soon, will grace the $10 bill.
The note will continue to have some image, also to be determined, of the current $10 honoree, Alexander Hamilton, a founding father (there were, of course, no mothers) and Treasury secretary to President George Washington (he of the $1 bill). Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, who by law makes the selection of an honoree, will disclose his choice by the end of the year. The new note will appear in 2020 — the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
The only criterion under law is that the chosen person must be dead, but the Treasury said Mr. Lew was looking for a woman “who was a champion for our inclusive democracy.” That would include the abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who was the top choice on social media of a campaign to put a woman on the $20 bill.
Putting a woman on paper notes is certain to be an honor more long-lived than that accorded two history-making women whose images were put on coins. Susan B. Anthony, the social reformer, appeared on silver dollars minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999, and Sacagawea, the Shoshone guide to the Lewis and Clark expedition, was featured on gold-colored dollar coins from 2000. Both coins, which were often confused with quarters, proved unpopular, and production of them was stopped.
Faces on bills have not changed since 1929, when Andrew Jackson replaced Grover Cleveland on the $20 note. Basic currency designs date to that time; redesigns occur every decade or so to deter counterfeiting.