Which woman should be featured on the $20 bill?(Read article summary)
Move over Andrew Jackson.
The non-profit group Women On 20s, which wants to replace President Andrew Jackson's portrait on the 20 dollar bill with that of a woman, has announced its final four choices after 256,000 people voted in an online poll.
The remaining candidates are former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, and the first woman elected chief of a major Native American tribe Wilma Mankiller.
"They are probably the most recognizable names, and the ones that have been taught, to some degree, in schools," Susan Ades Stone, executive director of Women On 20s, told the Washington Post. "But they are also all seen as heroic in some way. I think that's what people want: Someone who can be representative for women, who really is unequivocally someone who has touched everyone's lives."
Cherokee Wilma Mankiller, a less recognizable name, was not voted on to the ballot, but was instead selected because of the "strong public sentiment that people should have the choice of a Native American to replace Andrew Jackson," according to the group’s website.
It was Jackson who signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which relocated several Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, to territory in Oklahoma. Thousands died as they were forced from their homes and marched across the country in a brutal series of events that came to be known as The Trail of Tears.
The 20 dollar bill is also significant because 2020 is the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
"We believe this simple, symbolic, and long-overdue change could be an important stepping stone for other initiatives promoting gender equality," the group says on its website. "Our money does say something about us, about what we value."
The directors of Women On 20s and a group of women’s history experts narrowed the original list of 100 names down to 15. Voters then selected their top three choices from that list. Other candidates included: Betty Friedan, Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson, Margaret Sanger, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Women On 20s plans to approach the White House with the proposition before going to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew because they believe it will amplify the conversation about gender equality. They are also working to follow the US Treasury Department guidelines for paper money as closely as possible so that the issue will not require a congressional act.
"In the past 48 hours, since the final round started, we’ve had 60,000 people cast votes already," Stone told ABC News. "Though all these women and many more deserve to be honored, the winner will be a symbol of what we hope are greater things to come."