Accessibility links

Breaking News

Harriet Tubman Could Become New Face of US $20 Bill

Harriet Tubman was afamous abolitionist during and after the American Civil War in the mid-1800s. She is one of the great African Americans who helped achieve equality for all people

The legendary Harriet Tubman, a black woman and escaped slave who led thousands of other slaves to freedom in the years before the Civil War, could one day become the new face of the U.S. $20 bill.

More than 600,000 people voted in an online campaign dubbed Women on 20s, which seeks to remove the image of the seventh U.S. president, Andrew Jackson, from the currency in favor of an accomplished woman by 2020.

The campaign marks the 100th anniversary of the formal ratification of the constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote. Although only the U.S. Treasury Secretary can authorize the currency redesign, bills have also been introduced in Congress to put a woman's image on the bank note.

Tubman helped blacks escape bondage from southern U.S. plantations by traveling along the so-called "Underground Railroad," a secret network of people who shared her goal of abolishing the practice of slavery.

Tubman won more than 118,000 votes to be the face on the $20 bill, putting her ahead of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, 1950s civil rights hero Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller, a native American and first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

"Our work won't be done until we're holding a Harriet $20 bill in our hands," said Susan Ades Stone, the group's executive director. Stone says the group has sent the results of the poll to President Barack Obama, and has asked him to instruct Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to move forward with the redesign.

At present, the only woman on a currently circulating piece of U.S. currency is Sacagawea, on the dollar coin. Sacagawea was an American Indian woman who accompanied explorers Lewis and Clark on their expedition of the Western United States.

The U.S. Mint lists two other coins depicting women: Helen Keller is on the reverse side of the 2003 Alabama quarter and Susan B. Anthony was on the dollar coin until 1981.