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The Biden – Harris administration has not wasted any time since taking office on Jan. 20 and has said it is moving ahead with the distribution of $20 bills featuring abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
The effort was first introduced by the Obama administration but was halted by Donald Trump at the beginning of his term. Tubman’s bill would replace President Andrew Jackson’s bill.
“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “We are exploring ways to speed up that effort.”
Tubman is famed for leading dozens of enslaved people to their freedom through the Underground Railroad in the 1800s. She escaped from a slave plantation in 1849. Tubman fled north to the neighboring state of Pennsylvania, returning a reported 13 times to Maryland to rescue others via the so-called “underground railroad.”
The underground railroad is a network of safe houses, giving slaves safe passage from the south to the free states in the north.
In 2016, Trump shared that while he felt that Tubman was “fantastic,” he dismissed the move to have her replace Jackson on the $20 bill as “pure political correctness.”
“Well, Andrew Jackson had a great history, and I think it’s very rough when you take somebody off the bill,” Trump said during a town hall. “I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic, but I would love to leave Andrew Jackson or see if we can maybe come up with another denomination.”