Andrew Jackson is out and Harriet Tubman is in or rather will be on the $20. The trials and tribulations women have to go through, but one -- Tubman -- will finally be honored on the front of the $20 bill, after a popularity poll and much lobbying of the U.S. Treasury Department. The decision is expected to be was announced Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
In June 2015, the Treasury Department announced that when the $10 bill is redesigned over the next five years a yet-to-be-determined historic American female will join Alexander Hamilton on the note. Then a few days ago, it came to light that Hamilton was going to stay -- thanks to the popularity of a certain Broadway play -- and a group of women would appear on the back. The smashing success of "Hamilton" brought newfound fans of the founding father rallying around the first treasury secretary-turned-pop icon.
The Women on 20s organization wrote an open letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last week saying: "Relegating women to the back of the bill is akin to sending them to the back of the bus. The Rosa Parks analogies are inevitable." And the controversy over a woman on the nation's bank notes continued until the announcement today. It's just going to be awhile before we see the new notes.
Harriet Tubman on the 20
In the Women on 20s grassroots campaign, which inspired bills in the House and the Senate, Harriet Tubman came out the frontrunner to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, after more than 600,000 people cast ballots.
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist; she rescued hundreds of enslaved people through the Underground Railroad, helped John Brown recruit men for the Harpers Ferry raid and advocated for women's suffrage.
Former first lady, activist and diplomat Eleanor Roosevelt came in a close second in the Women on 20s poll with 111,227 votes to Harriet Tubman's 118,328.
The other two finalists in the field of heroic American women competing to grace the new $20 bill were civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Alabama sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.
Adding a woman to the $20 won't be the first time that the U.S. currency has gotten a major makeover. In fact, U.S. currency is redesigned every couple of years to make it more difficult to counterfeit.
The Massachusetts "pine shilling" was produced from the 1660s to the 1680s, even though they bore the year "1652." That was the year that that local lawmakers authorized the production of the coins.
The tree symbolizes the importance of wood to the local economy.
This is a "continental," a form of currency printed by American colonists during the Revolutionary War.
The notes were often counterfeited by the British in an effort to weaken the already-depreciating currency, and by the end of 1778, continentals were worth only about 20 percent of their face value.
The years between 1837 and 1866 were known as the "Free Banking Era," when lax federal and state banking laws permitted virtually anyone to open a bank and issue currency.
And we mean anybody.
Paper money was issued not only by banks, but also by states, cities, counties, railroads--even churches, stores and individuals.
This note from that era is on display at the American Currency Exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
This Confederate $10 bill depicts slavery in the lower-left corner.
Another Georgia Bank of Commerce Confederate note, a $1 bill, has a similar depiction.
In the 1950s, U.S. Treasury officials in Georgia dug up tens of thousands of dollars worth of Confederate money rotting in a state capitol basement.
At that point, the money wasn't even worth the paper it was printed on.
Meanwhile, up north ...
In the 1860s, northern states had their own monetary problems. Coins thrived in New Hampshire, but officials had trouble getting paper money, like this State Capital Bank of Concord dollar bill, to catch on.
This 1896 $5 bil caused a national kerfuffle because its central female figure was partially nude.
Minting money comes with innate risks, such as printing and stamping mistakes.
A prime example: This highly-sought-after "3 Legged" Buffalo Nickel from 1937. A damaged die at the Denver Mint caused the error.
Full faith and credit
During the Depression, Americans demanded paper money that could be converted into the much-more-comforting currency of gold.
This is one such voucher, on display at the American Currency Exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
After World War II, America printed special money to be used only on U.S. military installations.
Officials at the Federal Reserve aren't sure of the identity of the woman featured on this note.
Examples of the so-called "Allied Military Currency" are on display at the American Currency Exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
A rare 1853 half-plate daguerreotype of a George Washington painting is believed to be the inspiration for his portrait on our modern $1 bills.
As paper money evolved, so did the details on the currency.
In 1985, Secretary of Treasury James Baker put his signature on a new crop of bills, as is the tradition.
Staying ahead of counterfeiters
The 1990s were marked by America's efforts to beat counterfeiters.
In 1998, the United States introduced a new design for its $20 dollar bill, in hopes of thwarting such criminals.
A new $10
A new $10 bill followed suit in 2000.
In 2011, Treasury Secertary Timothy Geithner (L) and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke released a new $100 note with a security-thread strip, again aimed at thwarting counterfeiters.
Other denominations also got the high-tech facelift.
The famed "Del Monte Note," a $20 bill with a produce sticker on it, sold on eBay for $10,000 in the early 21st century.
In 2006, it was put up for auction at the Heritage Galleries and Auctioneers in Dallas, where it sold for $25,300.