(PIX11) — One organization is trying to boot Andrew Jackson and put a leading lady on our $20 bill.
You can vote for a new face for the $20 bill at Women On 20s‘ website. Once a winner is chosen, the selection will be presented to President Barack Obama and the Secretary of Treasury in a pitch to make the new bills.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Tenafly, NJ is a major contender for the new bill. Though she was also an abolitionist, she’s most known for her efforts for advocating women’s rights, especially suffrage. She was also a major player at the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention held in 1848.
There are three other women with ties to New Jersey out of twenty on the candidates list. We all know Harriet Tubman, who lived in Auburn, NY and used Cape May, NJ as a base in the Underground Railroad when she rescued dozens of friends and family from slavery in the south. After the Civil War, she joined the struggle for women’s suffrage.
Alice Paul, from Moorestown, led the movement towards the 19th Amendment allowing women to vote. And there’s Clara Barton, who opened New Jersey’s first free public school also founded the American Red Cross. Many New Jersey landmarks including schools and streets are named after her.
Why a woman on the $20? Since the 19th century, only two women have appeared on U.S. currency. That’s Susan B. Anthony on the dollar coin from 1979 to 1981, and Sacagawea since 1999. “Women on 20s” says it’s a “symbolic and long-overdue change … promoting gender equality. Our money does say something about us, about what we value. So together, let’s make our money egalitarian and inclusive!”
$20 bills are much more widely used than dollar coins, of course. The number 2020 is symbolic too — the organization is hoping the new bill will be out in time for 2020, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Why replace President Andrew Jackson? Our seventh president has been on the bill since 1928. But it’s hard to remember he’s the same president responsible for the Trail of Tears, one of the darkest moments of American history. His policy forced American Indians to leave their ancestral homeland, and lead to mass death. The organization also mentions Jackson’s ironic preference for the “hard” gold and silver coin system over paper money.