San Francisco residents comment on Harriet Tubman as new face of $20

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For the first time a woman, an African-American woman, will be the face of the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the bill. (KGO-TV)

For the first time a woman, an African-American woman, will be the face of the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the bill. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew made the announcement on Wednesday, saying Tubman led a life worth the honor.

"It's just an incredible story about how a person can change life in this great country," he said.


Essentially the only time a woman was featured on a bill was Martha Washington in the 1880s.

Other women have graced our currency - Susan B. Anthony is on the dollar coin and Helen Keller is on the back of the Alabama quarter. So this is a very important moment for women.

It took a grassroot movement to put a woman on the face of one of the nation's bills. The nonprofit Women on 20s conducted a 10 week-long survey.


Besides Tubman, the finalists included Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller.

After 600 votes were tallied, Tubman quickly became the most deserving.

"Harriet Tubman stands for freedom," said San Francisco State University History Professor Eva Sheppard Wolf. "There's nobody who stands for freedom more than somebody who risked her life multiple times to take people out of slavery to freedom."

A slave herself, Tubman escaped using the Underground Railroad, then became its greatest supporter.

RELATED: Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on $20 bill

We decided to test the historical knowledge of some San Franciscans.

"War against slavery, I believe it is," said one resident.

"I don't know a whole lot about Harriet Tubman, but I do know about Andrew Jackson and I'm glad they're taking him off the $20 bill," said San Francisco resident Todd Lammie.

While he was the seventh president, Jackson was a slave owner and pushed for the Indian Removal Act of 1830.


Initially it was Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill who was supposed to be removed. But there has been unexpected support for Hamilton in part because of the Broadway play based on his life and because he was the immigrant son of a single mom, one of the founding fathers, and the architect of our financial system.

It may take some time for the Tubman $20 bill to go into circulation. Some are calling for the U.S. Treasury to fast-track its production.
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financebusinessbuzzworthyu.s. & worldwatercoolermoneydistractionsocietyhistorySan Francisco
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