WASHINGTON (AP/WOOD) — So long, Alexander Hamilton.
The nation’s first secretary of the treasury, who has been featured on the $10 bill since 1929, is making way for a woman.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says that a redesign of the $10 bill will feature the first woman on the nation’s paper money in more than a century.
Which woman? The plan is to decide sometime this summer. Lew is asking the public for suggestions on who should be chosen, as well as what symbols of democracy it should feature. Ideas can be submitted by visitingthenew10.treasury.gov website or on Twitter using the hashtag #theNew10.
Whoever the mystery woman will be, one thing is known: She will be dead. It’s illegal to put a living person on U.S. currency.
The bill will also have new security features to make it harder to counterfeit and will be unveiled in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. The date it will be put into circulation will be announced later.
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 twenty 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 ten 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.
This story has been corrected to show that 2020 is the year the bill will be unveiled, not the year it will go into circulation.
24 Hour News 8 contributed to this report.