Editorial: A woman belongs on $20 bill instead of Andrew Jackson

Wilma Mankiller, 1945-2010, was the first woman elected to the position of principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Photo from All Things Cherokee

The Department of Treasury plans to add a woman to the new $10 bill but The New York Times says that's the wrong approach:
A better idea is to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with a distinguished woman from American history. Jackson was a slave owner whose decisions annihilated American Indian tribes of the Southeast. He also hated paper currency and vetoed the reauthorization of the Second Bank of the United States, a predecessor of the Federal Reserve. Jackson is in the history books, but there’s no reason to keep him in our wallets.

Treasury officials say that the $20 bill, which was last redesigned in 2003, might not be due for another revision for years. But it has not clearly explained why it can’t simply replace Jackson’s portrait without making any other change to that bill.

Here are a few suggestions for women who would fit the bill: Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist; Ida B. Wells, the suffragist; Rosa Parks, the civil rights hero; Eleanor Roosevelt, the activist first lady and diplomat; and Frances Perkins, the first woman appointed to the presidential cabinet and an advocate for worker rights.

Here is another proposal: Have the nation’s schoolchildren nominate and vote on Jackson’s replacement. Why not give them another reason to learn about women who altered history and make some history themselves by changing American currency?

Get the Story:
Take Jackson Off the $20 Bill, Put a Woman in His Place (The New York Times 7/5)

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