Why Harriet Tubman belongs on $20 bill

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced several important and historic changes in the design of U.S. currency. Among them is a plan to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with the famed abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman.

The original plan launched last summer was to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, with Tubman being one of the leading candidates. But further consideration—and perhaps the mammoth popularity of the Broadway rap musical "Hamilton"—has resulted in the decision to put Tubman on the $20.

    Alexander Hamilton is safe, Harriet Tubman gets the coveted automated bank teller $20 gig, and the often maligned Andrew Jackson is out in the cold.

    Why she's famous

    There are many reasons that Tubman is a front-runner in the race to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. She is justly famous for the many people she helped to escape from slavery.

    Born a slave herself around 1820, she escaped and fled to the North in 1849. But she risked her newfound freedom returning to the South 19 times in the subsequent years. In all, she personally led more than 300 slaves to freedom along the Underground Railway.


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