When Will American Abolitionist Harriet Tubman Appear on the $20 Bill?

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Jan. 26 2021, Updated 12:31 p.m. ET

There’s no argument that the U.S. is home to many heroes — those who are living and others who have long passed. Some of the most notable figures are ones that took a stand during slavery and the civil rights movement. And while we may honor them on their birthdays or on national holidays, it’s worth going the extra mile to show just how important they were to our country.

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That said, there have long been talks of American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman gracing the $20 bill. And while the idea within itself is genius, it hasn’t gone into full fruition as of yet. So, it leaves people to wonder when will she be on the $20 bill. Luckily, our new administration is working hard to make it happen. Here’s what we know. 

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So, when will the $20 bill get a makeover with Harriet Tubman?

If you’ve been staying up to date with the news, then you know that back in 2016, former President Barack Obama initially created a plan with his administration to place Harriet on the $20 bill, replacing former president Andrew Jackson. However, former President Donald Trump put an axe in that plan once he took over office.

Thankfully, President Joe Biden is ready to put the plan back in motion. According to BBC News, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has told reporters that the Treasury was "exploring ways to speed up" the process.

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"It's important that our notes, our money - if people don't know what a note is - reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that," Jen shared. 

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This move would make history as Harriet will be the first African American woman to appear on a U.S. bank note. Not to mention, she would also be the first woman in 100 years to receive the honor. 

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Harriet Tubman was a multifaceted woman who contributed to the abolition of slavery and the Civil War.

In case you haven't realized, Harriet is a big deal. Not only was she a notable abolitionist and activist, she used her powers to help free many slaves. 

Born into slavery between 1820 to 1822 in Dorchester County, Md. according to National Women's History Museum, she went on to escape from a slave plantation in 1849.

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 She later returned to help free slaves via the Underground Railroad that was established in the late eighteenth century by Black and white abolitionists. 

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"Later on in her life, she become a Union Spy and would wander the streets under Confederate control and learn from the enslaved population about Confederate troop placements and supply lines," the site reports. She used her status to help enslaved individuals get food, shelter, and jobs in the North. 

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After the war, Harriet raised funds to help freedmen and became a supporter for the women's suffragette movement. She often gave speeches to influence the masses on women's suffrage and abolishing slavery. She later died in 1913 and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, N.Y.

There's no doubt that Harriet deserves the honor of appearing on the $20 bill. Hopefully the Biden administration can give the $20 bill the makeover it deserves.

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