The face on the front of the United States $20 bill has changed a lot since 1861, when it was called the ‘demand note’ and depicted Lady Liberty holding a sword and shield.
The bill has had many faces portrayed on it, such as Alexander Hamilton (who is now on the $10 bill), George Washington (he took his place on the $1) and James Garfield.
It was in 1928 that Andrew Jackson, former president and general, took his place on the bill, replacing Grover Cleveland.
It is unclear why the decision was made to switch from Cleveland to Jackson, but likely had to do with the fact that the switch coincided with the 100th anniversary of Jackson’s election as United States president.
Now, 87 years later, the $20 bill is again facing a change.
A campaign called “Women on 20s” has led the vote to have Harriet Tubman, the famous anti-slavery activist, replace Jackson on the $20 bill by 2020, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Originally, the plan was to have a historical female figure replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, but due to the surging response from citizens that demanded Hamilton stay on the bill, the change was switched to the $20.
Alexander Hamilton’s popularity with the American public is no doubt partially caused by the hit Broadway show, Hamilton, which features the life and events surrounding the ex-president and founding father.
Many critics of Jackson have further insisted that he had no right being honored by being on American currency due to his support of the Indian Removal Act that purged tribes from the south and into Oklahoma through the route that has become popular by its devastating title of the Trail of Tears. Jackson also loathed paper money and the central banking system.
“America’s currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. “Our paper bills – and the images of great American leaders and symbols they depict – have long been a way for us to honor our past and express our values.”
Lew continued, saying that he was proud that, for the first time, American currency would bear the portrait of a woman.
Tubman won a poll that was organized in 2015 to decide who would be featured on the new currency. She came out as the preference of the American citizens, even with contestants such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Cherokee Nation Leader Wilma Mankiller.
It has also been announced that the $5 bill will possibly be facing design changes as well.