During a recent lull in the news media, there was a push noted that there must be a change in the face that graces the ten-dollar bill and/or the twenty-dollar bill. Of those mentioned include Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, and even Rosa Parks. Let’s run down who are currently on the monetary bills and what each have accomplished. Mind you, I don’t plan on listing all accomplishments. If you are even slightly aware of American history, then you know why each are selected to be represented upon a monetary currency.
The one-dollar bill is faced with George Washington. Let’s see. Washington was the leader of the Continental Army which overthrew the greatest fighting machine on the face of the earth at the time. Without Washington, we would still likely be under British rule and we would all have a funny accent. Washington was the first President of the United States of America. Enough said. Move on.
The two-dollar bill is faced with Thomas Jefferson. True that this bill is not found in circulation very often. Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was the third President of the United States of America and directed the Lewis and Clark expedition westward. I would say that he was a very strong candidate to be honored with his presence upon a monetary currency.
The five-dollar bill is faced with Abraham Lincoln. The country was at the brink of civil war when he ran for office. The Confederacy removed itself from the United States of America as soon as he took his oath as the 16th President. He fought on principle to hold the nation together and was ultimately successful. Lincoln saved the United States of America from self-destruction. No question, Lincoln deserves this honor to face the five-dollar bill.
The ten-dollar bill is faced with Alexander Hamilton. While not a President, Hamilton was the author of the Federalist Papers. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury and helped found the first national bank, the U.S. Mint, and a tax collection bureau. Without Hamilton, there would not have been enough funding to support the United States of American in its infancy.
The twenty-dollar bill is faced with Andrew Jackson. Jackson was a hard-headed man who was not afraid to speak his mind, which irritated those who despised him. Many of his current critics still do. Jackson was a commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801 and led 5,000 American soldiers into battle over the British in New Orleans after the War of 1812 was declared over. Jackson was also the seventh President of the United States of America.
The fifty-dollar bill is faced by Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was the commander of the victorious Union forces during the Civil War and turned the once hapless Union effort into a needed victory to return the Unites States of America to a single nation. Grant was 18th President of the United States of America.
The hundred-dollar bill is faced by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a scientist, an inventor, a writer, and a negotiator. Franklin assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Franklin assisted in alluring France to support the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Franklin negotiated the Treaty of Paris which ultimately marked the end of British rule over the newly formed United States of America.
Now, let’s compare each of those above. Susan B. Anthony was a major contributor to the United States of America as a major leader in the fight for women’s right to vote.
Helen Keller was born blind and spent much of her time as a social worker. In fact, she was openly regarded as a socialist.
Rosa Parks was best remembered as the second (that’s right, not the first) Black woman to refuse to stand on a bus and to allow a White man the right to sit in her place. Parks was honored as one of the leaders who finally ended segregation the United States of America.
So, what do you think? In my opinion, none of these women ought to replace those already existing upon paper currency. And let’s be honest, no one since Lincoln or Grant deserves that honor. To give in to social demands, a more recent and poorly chosen and political choice will be made. The currency should remain the same as it has been since these selections have been made.
If I had my choice in the matter, only Martin Luther King, Jr. should be given the honor of being a face upon a new paper currency. He lived, he led, and he died for a single purpose. And, we continue to honor his heroism. But, he still didn’t do more to establish the United States of America any more than those who currently face our paper currency. King fought for respect and honor of those Black men, women, and children who were treated as second-class citizens at best, and treated as dogs at worst.
The current generation may well, in fact, choose to add to or replace those who are honored upon our paper currency. This current generation also has a short attention span. Once a change is made, more changes will be requested until a time comes when the once honored U.S. currency will be a meaningless collection of ever-changing faces. Excitement comparable to who would be on the cover of Madden NFL Football.
Article by John Coder
Posted June 30, 2015