Harriet Tubman, anti-slavery activist ousts Jackson on new US $20 bill

Black abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman will appear on the front of the $20 bill, relocating the slaveholding former president Andrew Jackson to its rear, and founding father Alexander Hamilton will remain on the face of the $10 bill.

The changes were announced Wednesday by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as part of a historic overhaul of U.S. currency aimed at addressing America’s legacy of slavery and gender inequality. They came after a viral online campaign to feature a woman on the currency and, later, a push to preserve Hamilton’s place by historians and fans of the hit Broadway musical bearing his name.

Lew called Tubman’s story “the essential story of American democracy” and the power of an individual to make a difference, adding that “so much of what we believe has changed for better for this country is reflected in what she struggled for.”

In the hotly anticipated unveiling, Lew described other changes to the $5 and $10 bills. Fans of Hamilton had worried that an announcement last year by the Treasury that it would put a woman on the $10 bill would displace the father of the modern U.S. economic system. But the new $10 bill will now recognize the role of women by featuring on its back an image of the 1913 march for women’s suffrage that ended at the Treasury Department. It will also honor women’s suffrage leaders such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth.

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