Big changes are on the way for the U.S. $10 bill.
A redesigned bill will feature the image of a notable American woman.
“We have only made changes to the faces on our currency a few times since bills were first put into circulation, and I’m proud that the new 10 will be the first bill in more than a century to feature the portrait of a woman,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said June 17.
George Washington’s wife, Martha, appeared on $1 silver certificates in the late 19th century.
The Treasury Department is seeking public input for which woman will appear on the currency. People are submitting suggestions using “#TheNew10” hashtag on social media. Over the summer, Treasury officials will also hold town halls, roundtables and other meetings to collect input from ordinary citizens.
Early buzz indicates Americans are considering the following women leaders:
- Harriet Tubman: An escaped slave, Tubman became one of America’s leading abolitionists. Later she fought for women’s suffrage.
- Eleanor Roosevelt: This women’s and civil rights activist oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She was the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Rosa Parks: This civil rights icon known as “the first lady of civil rights” became famous for refusing to give her seat to a white man on a segregated Alabama bus.
- Wilma Mankiller: The first female chief of the Cherokee Nation and an inspiration to women received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1998.
The Treasury will announce its choice several months from now. The redesigned bill will be unveiled in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“It’s very important to be sending the signal of how important it is to recognize the role that women have played in our national life and in our national history for a very long time, really from the beginning,” Lew said in an interview.
Existing $10 notes — which feature a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the father of the U.S. banking system — will remain legal tender even after the new design enters circulation. Lew said Hamilton’s image will remain in some form on the $10 note.