WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/CBS News) -- Move over Alexander Hamilton!
The $10 bill will soon feature a woman, the U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday night.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced in a news release that an unspecified notable woman will be featured on a newly-redesigned $10 note. The woman selected for the redesigned bill will be picked with "a focus on celebrating a champion for our inclusive democracy," the release said.
Woman's Portrait To Be Featured On Redesigned $10 Bill
The Treasury Department has asked the public to weigh in with ideas.
"In keeping with that theme, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is asking the American people to share ideas, symbols, and designs for the new $10 note that reflect what democracy means to them. You can share your ideas using the hashtag the New 10 or by visiting thenew10.treasury.gov," the department said. Tweets may also be submitted with the hashtag #TheNew10, the department said.
The new bill is expected to debut in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.
"America's currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for. 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," Lew said in a statement. "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."
Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the Federalist Party and the first U.S. Treasury secretary under George Washington, currently appears on the $10 bill.
As CBS2's Lou Young reported, the water cooler talk over at the Pace Women's Justice Center focused on Eleanor Roosevelt.
"Eleanor Roosevelt was, during her lifetime for the issues that are still relevant today, on women's issues, of civil rights, issues of human rights, issues of equality in America,"Cindy Kanusher, Executive Director, Women's Justice Center, said.
A prominent 20th century Democrat on the currency has political overtones. The conservative Republican County Executive in Westchester thinks there are other good choices.
"I'm going with Harriet Tubman, with Susan B. Anthony close behind," Rob Astorino said.
CBS News reported Lew said Hamilton will not be eliminated from the $10 bill altogether, meaning the new design could feature two portraits – one of Hamilton and one of a woman -- or that Hamilton will be featured on just some of the new $10 notes, CBS News reported.
A campaign to get a woman's face on a U.S. dollar bill had gained steam online earlier this year. But those calling for the change had instead called for removing President Andrew Jackson's portrait from the $20 and replacing it with that of a woman.
The campaign conducted an online poll to determine which woman should replace Jackson -- the winner was abolitionist Harriet Tubman, CBS News reported.
New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin and other members of the council's Women's Caucus announced a resolution calling on the federal government to put a woman on the $20 bill.
However, Lew said the timing of the Treasury Department's announcement was unrelated to the grassroots campaign, calling it a "happy coincidence," CBS News reported.
The $10 bill's redesign has, in fact, been in the works since 2013. The department chose the $10 note for redesign based on a number of factors, including guidance from the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence (ACD) Steering Committee, CBS News reported. The primary reason for redesigning currency has to do with counterfeiting threats, so the new note will feature state-of-the-art security and composition features. It will also feature a tactile element for the visually impaired, CBS News reported.
The new $10 note won't be the first time a woman has been featured on paper currency. In the 19th century, Martha Washington was featured on a dollar certificate. Additionally, Pocahontas was part of a group photo featured on the $20 note from 1865 to 1869.
President Barack Obama had remarked sometime back that a little girl had sent him a letter asking him to put a woman on U.S. currency, "which I thought was a pretty good idea."
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