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The New Ten

posted 7/10/2015 in General

For the first time in over 100 years, a woman will appear on U.S. paper currency. And who that woman will be is up to you. Last month, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that a woman will be appearing on a new $10 bill that will go into circulation in 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which gave women the right to vote. The new bill will focus on celebrating democracy and will feature a woman who was crucial in helping to establish what America stands for as a nation.

Why the Change?
According to the U.S. Treasury, “Currency is primarily redesigned as necessary to address current and potential security threats to currency notes.” The $100 bill was the last bill to undergo a counterfeiting upgrade in 2013, with the $20 bill redesign in 2003, making both harder to duplicate. The move to upgrade the $10 bill also comes courtesy of a grassroots movement called Women on 20s which was formed in 2012 with the goal of replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with a historic American woman. However, due to the $10 bill’s need for a security redesign, an agreement was made to feature an iconic American woman on the $10 bill instead. 

$10 Bill Throughout History
The first $10 large note bill was introduced in 1861 and featured a small portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the front of the bill. The bill then underwent many changes before settling on Andrew Jackson for the face of the bill in 1914. The face of the $10 bill was last changed to its current resident, Alexander Hamilton, in 1929 when Andrew Jackson was moved to the $20. When all U.S. bills were shrunk to the same size they are today, Alexander Hamilton was chosen as the face of the bill going forward. The $10 bill was most recently modified in the spring of 2006, adding color-shifting ink, watermarks, and a security thread to the currency.

Previous Women on U.S. Currency
Martha Washington was the last woman to appear on a piece of U.S. paper currency over 100 years ago from 1891-1896 on a $1 certificate. Before her, Pocahontas was featured on the back of the $20 note for five years from 1865-1869. Most recently, the silver $1 coin with Susan B. Anthony and the $1 gold coin with Sacagawea made appearances in the late 1990s, and Helen Keller was portrayed on the back of the Alabama quarter that was released in 2003.  

Potential Candidates
Women on 20s held an online primary earlier in the year where the public narrowed down a list of candidates from 15 to 4. The fifteen candidates being considered were: Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Patsy Mink, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Frances Perkins, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, Margaret Sanger, Rachel Carson, Betty Friedan, Barbara Jordan, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The group then held a four-person online election where the public voted between Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller, with Harriet Tubman emerging as the group’s top choice. The U.S. Treasury has said they will consider all candidates and encourage the public to share their ideas online at and on social media with the hashtag #TheNew10.

The U.S. Treasury has said it still hasn’t decided whether a woman will appear alongside Alexander Hamilton on the new currency or whether there will be two separate versions of the $10 bill put into circulation to continue honoring Alexander Hamilton when the new bill is released. In addition to public input on which woman should be chosen to appear on the bill, the Treasury is also accepting input on which symbols of democracy should appear on the new bill. The department hopes to make an announcement on their selection as early as fall of this year and get started on the redesign as soon as possible to ensure the bill is ready for circulation in 2020.

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC.


Holland, Brynn. 'Woman To Be Featured On Newly Redesigned $10 Bill, Treasury Announces'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 July 2015. 

Mui, Ylan Q., and Abby Ohlheiser. 'A Woman Will Appear On Redesigned $10 Bill In 2020. Who Will It Be?'. Washington Post. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 July 2015.,. 'The New 10'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 July 2015. 

Women on 20s,. 'Results'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 July 2015. 

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