Alexander Hamilton, who has been featured on the $10 bill since 1929, is making way for a woman.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is to officially announce Thursday that a redesign of the $10 will feature the first woman on the nation’s paper money in more than a century. The plan is to decide which woman sometime this summer.
The bill will have new security features to make it harder to counterfeit and will go into circulation in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
Lew is asking the public for suggestions on who should be chosen for the bill, as well as what symbols of democracy it should feature. Ideas can be submitted by visiting thenew10.treasury.gov website.
Various groups have been campaigning to get a woman honored on the nation’s paper currency, which has been an all-male domain for more than a century. The last woman featured on U.S. paper money was Martha Washington, who was on a dollar silver certificate from 1891 to 1896. The only other woman ever featured on U.S. paper money was Pocahontas, from 1865 to 1869. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea are on dollar coins.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, who is sponsoring legislation to put a woman on the $20 bill, praised Lew for moving forward with a decision to use the $10 bill, which is the next denomination of currency scheduled to be redesigned.
“While it may not be the 20 dollar bill, make no mistake, this is a historic announcement,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Young girls across this country will soon be able to see an inspiring woman on the 20 dollar bill.”
A grass roots group, Women on 20s, had been pushing to get a woman’s portrait on the $20, which currently features Andrew Jackson. They had conducted an online poll that gathered over 600,000 votes. African-American abolitionist Harriett Tubman was the top choice in that poll.
Lew said that Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary, would still be honored in some way. He said one possibility being considered would keep Hamilton’s portrait on some of the redesigned $10 bills. Lew said no final decision had been made yet.