As expected, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced April 20 that founding Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's portrait will remain on the front of the $10 bill, while former President Andrew Jackson's visage will be replaced on the $20 with the portrait of black freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. Fans of the Broadway musical Hamilton had clamored to keep the man described in the show as the “ten-dollar founding father” on the note.
According to The New York Times, Lincoln will remain on the front of the $5 bill, but images of women will join the various buildings and other images on the backs of of the $5, $10 and $20 bills to highlight women's roles in U.S. history.
The Treasury building on the back of the $10 bill will be replaced with a depiction of “a 1913 march in support of women’s right to vote that ended at the building.” The tenner will alsoget portraits of five leaders of the campaign to win women the vote: Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and Susan B. Anthony.
Opera singer Marian Anderson's 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial will be added to the image of the memorial on the back of the $5, along with a picture of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his “I have a dream” speech at the memorial.
The new designs will not reach circulation until 2020—the centennial of the date when women won the right to vote.
In an interview this past weekend with CNBC, Lew said, "When we started this conversation not quite a year ago, it wasn't clear to me that millions of Americans were going to weigh in with their ideas. We're not just talking about one bill. We're talking about the $5, the $10, and the $20. We're not just talking about one picture on one bill. We're talking about using the front and the back of the bill to tell an exciting set of stories."
The report confirmed a March 16 statement to Playbill.com from a Treasury Department spokesperson, who said Secretary Lew had personally spoken to Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda and “reiterated his commitment to continue to honor Alexander Hamilton on the 10 dollar bill.”
Last June, Lew announced that the Treasury was planning to add the face of a woman to the image of the show's namesake, Alexander Hamilton, on the ten-dollar bill. There was also talk that Hamilton might be replaced entirely.
Miranda met with Lew March 14 en route to a planned visit to the White House. After a tour of Hamilton memorabilia at the Treasury Department, Lew reassured Miranda that his alter ego would continue to be honored on the currency.
The Treasury spokesperson told Playbill.com March 16, "On Monday [March 14], Secretary Lew welcomed Lin-Manuel Miranda to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Secretary and Miranda talked about the enduring mark Alexander Hamilton left on our nation’s history, and the Secretary provided a brief tour of Hamilton’s possessions and portraits on display at the Treasury Department.
“The Secretary thanked Miranda for the ingenious way in which he has been able to tell Hamilton’s story and ignite a renewed interest in one of our nation’s founding fathers.”
“America’s currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for,” Lew reportedly said. “Our paper bills—and the images of great American leaders and symbols they depict—have long been a way for us to honor our past and express our values.”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 16, 2016
A Treasury spokesperson additionally told Playbill.com March 17 that Lew had also met with Miranda and the cast of Hamilton in August 2015 when he saw the musical on Broadway, and assured them they could trust "that he would be true to his commitment made from the start to continue to honor Alexander Hamilton" on the tenner.