It’s been more than a century (119 years to be exact) since a woman was featured on U.S. paper currency. But that soon will change.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob L. Lew announced that a “notable woman” will be featured on the redesign of the $10 bill, though it’s not yet known which woman will win the honor. The new currency is slated to be released in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
It’s about time. The last woman to appear on paper currency in the United States was Martha Washington, who was featured on the $1 Silver Certificate between 1891 and 1896, according to CNN Money.
Lew’s announcement comes on the heels of a recent grassroots campaign to put a woman on the $20 bill. But Treasury had already selected the $10 note for redesign in 2013.
“The two main components of currency redesign are staying ahead of counterfeiting threats by using the most technologically advanced security features for our bills, and institutionalizing our American history by using images that reflect the past and represent our current era,” the Treasury Department explained on its website.
Lew is asking for the public’s help in selecting a woman for the $10 bill. The only criteria are that the woman must no longer be living and must have been a “champion for our inclusive democracy,” Treasury said.
In addition to conducting roundtables and town hall meetings to collect input, Treasury is asking for ideas to be submitted on social media with the hashtag #TheNew10.
Faces on U.S. greenbacks have not changed since 1929, when Alexander Hamilton, America’s first Treasury secretary, was put on the $10 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson, who was moved to the $20 bill. Lew said Hamilton will remain a part of the paper note.
“There are many options for continuing to honor Hamilton,” Treasury said. “While one option is producing two bills, we are exploring a variety of possibilities. However, security requirements are the driving consideration behind any new design.”
The new $10 bill will include tactile features that make it easier for the blind or visually impaired to identify the note.
Which notable woman do you think best represents the U.S. value of democracy and should be featured on the redesigned $10 bill? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.