The faces in your wallet will soon be changing. A woman will appear on the $10 bill beginning in 2020, the U.S. Treasury announced this week.
Not by coincidence, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Who will that woman be? That part is up to you.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, who ultimately has the final say, is asking for suggestions. He and other treasury employees will be holding roundtables and town hall meetings and inviting people to chime in online at #TheNew10.
The nominees should represent the value of democracy, says Lew.
According to the U.S. Treasury website: "The person should be iconic and have made a significant contribution to — or impact on — protecting the freedoms on which our nation was founded."
By law, no living person may appear on U.S. currency.
Not a common occurrence
This is a big deal. For starters, it's a woman. Martha Washington appeared on the 1886 $1 silver certificate. Pocahontas appeared on several bank notes starting in the late 1800s. But this is also remarkable because portraits on currency change so rarely.
The last alterations occurred between 1914 and 1928 when four portraits where changed.
- Andrew Jackson to Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill
- Grover Cleveland to Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill
- John Marshall to William McKinley on the $500
- Alexander Hamilton to Grover Cleveland on the $1,000
Because currency design is very detailed, including the incorporation of anti-counterfeit measures, the new bill won't appear in circulation for several years after its announcement.
Earlier this year, an online petition urged the Obama administration to replace Jackson with abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20. But Lew told USA Today that the main consideration was the security of the currency and the $10 bill was next in line for a makeover.
What about Hamilton?
Alexander Hamilton, who currently graces the front of the $10 bill, isn't totally disappearing. The first Treasury secretary will either remain on the bill — possibly on the reverse side — or will appear on a separate $10 bill.
Interestingly, social media isn't very happy that Hamilton, who was critical in the development of our currency system, is being ousted.
And, of course, at least one joke:
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