Biden working towards putting Harriet Tubman on $20 notes after Trump delayed move

Obama administration first announced plans to replace Andrew Jackson with abolitionist icon

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 25 January 2021 22:03
Biden working towards putting Harriet Tubman on $20 notes
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Joe Biden is working towards putting Harriet Tubman on $20 notes after Donald Trump delayed the move.

The Obama administration had wanted to replace Andrew Jackson with the American abolitionist on the notes but it went nowhere during the Trump Administration.

“I was here when we announced that, and it was very exciting, but it hasn’t moved forward yet, which we would have been surprised to learn at the time,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes. 

"It is important that our notes, our money, reflect the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that and we are exploring ways to speed up that effort.”

Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced in 2019 that the $20 bill featuring Ms Tubman would not be introduced on time in 2020.

The unveiling had been timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. 

But Mr Mnuchin said that the design process had been delayed and the project was unlikely to be completed until 2028.

The note featuring Ms Tubman was announced in 2016 by former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew following a 10-month public consultation.

“The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old,” said Mr Lew at the time.

 “I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy.”

Tubman, a former slave who died in 1913, escaped from slavery and took part in 13 rescue missions that freed 70 slaves in Maryland, according to the National Park Service.

She is one of the Underground Railroad’s best known “conductors” and had the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad state park in Maryland named in her honour.

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