Wednesday, 20 April 2016

African-American Harriet Tubman will become the first woman on U.S. currency

Harriet Tubman will become the first woman on U.S. currency. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is set to make the announcement on Wednesday, an official said.

Tubman, a woman who escaped slavery only to risk her life by returning to the South to lead others to freedom on the Underground Railroad, will replace Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, on the $20 bill.

Tubman escaped slavery but then returned to the South to lead other slaves to freedom 
Last year, the treasury announced plans to replace Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first secretary of the treasury, on the $10 bill with a woman.

But they have now decided to keep Hamilton after both Hamilton supporters and women's groups championed for the the $20 bill to be changed to incorporate a woman instead.

In the past year, Hamilton has undergone a revival in popularity, with the success of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer-prize winning Broadway musical named after the founding father.

Jackson, meanwhile, is a more complicated figure, and there is no doubt some symbolism in the former president - a slave owner - being replaced by a woman who was born into slavery.

When it was announced last year that the treasury would be printing a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in history, a women's group called Women on 20s organized a survey to select an appropriate figure.

Over the course of 10 weeks, the group collected 600,000 votes and Tubman came out on top.

Civil rights hero Rosa Parks, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Wilma Mankiller - the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation - were among some of the other popular figures in the vote.

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