Like college basketball, we have reached the final four candidates to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Federal Reserve Note.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Wilma Mankiller are the choices in the ultimate round of voting.
In a campaign sponsored by Women on 20s, 256,000 voters cast their ballots online to determine three of the four candidates in this field of choices from an original list of 15.
The campaign website says the fourth candidate was added, “Because of strong public sentiment that people should have the choice of a Native American to replace Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller.”
Of the three that were selected by voters, they “were named by as many as half of the voters in the Primary Round as one of their top three,” according to the website.
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, is described this way in her online biography: “Redefined the role of First Lady. Used her newspaper column, radio and speeches to champion civil and women’s rights, often in opposition to her husband FDR’s policies. As a UN delegate and 'First Lady of the World,' she drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Harriet Tubman, 1822-1913, is described as, ”Born a slave, she fled North to freedom, later making 19 trips back to the South as an Underground Railroad conductor, leading some 300 slaves to freedom. A nurse during the Civil War, she served the Union army as a scout and spy. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement after the war.”
Rosa Parks, 1913-2005, it is noted. was “Saluted by Congress as the ‘first lady of civil rights,’ she challenged racial segregation by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. Her arrest, and the ensuing Montgomery bus boycott, became symbols in the struggle for racial equality and civil rights in the United States.”
In the biography of Wilma Mankiller, 1945-2010, she is described as, “Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and first elected female Chief of a Native nation in modern times. Her 10-year administration, from 1985-1995, revitalized the Nation through extensive community development, self-help, education and healthcare programs for the Cherokee Nation’s 300,000 citizens.”
What is perhaps most interesting about the four individuals is that three of them are our near contemporaries with many people still living who would have known them or known of them as they lived their lives and made history.
Only Tubman is beyond the reach of living memory.
What is your choice?
Express it. Go vote.
The full candidate biographies can be viewed at:
The ballot is at:
Women on 20s was founded by Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone.
Their original list of 15 was Alice Paul, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth Rachel Carson, Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan, Margaret Sanger, Patsy Mink, Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, Frances Perkins, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
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."