The U.S. Treasury Department announced yesterday, “Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has decided that the new $10 note should feature a woman who was a champion for our inclusive democracy […].”
Many people shared my immediate reaction: why not dump President Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill instead? Binyamin Appelbaum put it most succinctly: “Hard choices: Should we get rid of the hard-working immigrant on the $10 bill or the homicidal racist on the $20 bill? Hmmmmm”. Alexandra Petri explained in more detail why Jackson doesn’t deserve the honor of being on our currency. Among other things, he bears responsibility for the Indian Removal Act and the subsequent “Trail of Tears,” one of the most shameful crimes in U.S. history. As Steven Mufson pointed out, Hamilton “was a founding father, co-author of the Federalist Papers, Revolutionary War staff aide to George Washington, first Treasury Secretary and architect of the early American economy.’ Someone already started a White House petition to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill, but the Treasury Department’s FAQ page on “The New 10” don’t indicate that switching the $20 bill is an option.
Currency is primarily redesigned as necessary to address current and potential security threats to currency notes. When recommending a note for redesign, the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence (ACD) Steering Committee considers these primary goals: that U.S. currency utilizes unique and technologically advanced security features to deter counterfeiting, that it facilitates the public’s use and authentication, provides accessibility and usability, and maintains public confidence. Based on analysis of these criteria, in June 2013, the Committee recommended that the $10 note should be the next note to be redesigned, assuming no other counterfeit threats emerge.
This thread is for any opinions about who belongs on the new currency. My first choice to celebrate women’s contributions to democracy would be Carrie Chapman Catt, a “Key coordinator of the woman suffrage movement and skillful political strategist.” She grew up in Charles City, Iowa, graduated from what later became Iowa State University, then worked in Charles City and Mason City.
Another good choice would be Francis Perkins, the first woman to serve in the president’s cabinet as labor secretary under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.Continue Reading...