Andrew Jackson’s place on the $20 bill is secure at least until 2026.
Abolitionist Harriet Tubman was supposed to replace him by 2020, the 100th anniversary year of women’s right to vote.
However, that will not now be the case.
Delays in approving a final design are blamed by the nation’s paper money factory, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Putting Tubman on the $20 was a decision made in 2016 by Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary, Jack Lew.
That decision was a fall back for Lew, who originally had determined to kick Alexander Hamilton off the $10. But that blew up in his face.
Public outcry, inspired in part by the popular Broadway play “Hamilton,” saved the country’s first Treasury secretary from numismatic exile.
President Jackson was then chosen for eviction.
Lew also determined that the backsides of the $10 and $5 were also to be altered in a sequential process.
He decided to put five women’s rights activists on the back of a new $10: Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I Have A Dream” speech delivered in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial was to be the theme of the new back for the $5.
However, it takes years under the best of circumstances to implement changes to American paper money.
The whole point of changing designs is to make paper money more secure against counterfeiters by embedding more security features in the notes.
Changing a portrait is technically easy to throw into the mix.
Tubman was selected for a role on paper money by a national campaign in 2015 conducted by womenon20s.org.
They conducted an online vote from among many historical figures.
Tubman narrowly won over runner-up Eleanor Roosevelt.
After Lew’s decision, Jackson’s star has been in the ascendant.
President Donald J. Trump has put a portrait of the nation’s seventh President in the Oval Office.
The currently announced delay could be a precursor to outright cancelation of the Tubman portrait.
It would simply be one more change in the flow of events since 2015.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
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