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Who will be woman on $10?

The victor in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans has won again even as a campaign to put a woman on U.S. paper money is also victorious.

Andrew Jackson was targeted for removal from the $20 Federal Reserve Note by an online effort led by womenon20s.org.

However, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said yesterday that a woman will be placed on the $10 denomination in 2020 rather than the $20.

That year will be the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave the right to vote to women. It also is when the next currency upgrade is planned for the $10.

Who the woman might be has yet to be decided. The only criteria mentioned is that she represent democracy and also be deceased.

Harriet Tubman won the online vote in the womenon20s balloting. She fits the Treasury secretary’s criteria, but so do many others.

Public reaction is being sought.

The Treasury will create a website and also adopt the hashtag #TheNew10.

Who will the public suggest?

Some of the contenders in the womenon20s vote will likely resurface as worthy possibilities.

The public might suggest Martha Washington, even though she was on paper money in the 19th century.

She has the advantage of being widely recognized, and that is hugely important when there is public input.

The womenon20s vote attracted only about 600,000 participants.

We can assume a Treasury website will attract suggestions by the millions.

While Jackson is a winner, it is difficult to say Alexander Hamilton, who is currently on the $10, is a loser.

His image will stay somewhere on the new $10.

A woman will be added.

Strange?

Perhaps, but it probably forestalls any last ditch defense of the first Treasury secretary.

Lew has the authority to make the decision as the Treasury secretary.

However, if a new administration enters office in January 2017, a new Secretary could make the same claim and there would be enough time to reverse any decision made in the next few months.

That might be seen as high-handed.

So, if the selection process we have just begun to determine the identity of a woman for the $10 is widely seen to be fair and the ultimate decision is reasonable, that should guarantee that there will be no U-turns.

But it also raises the chance that Martha Washington will be selected.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

 

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