The Treasury Department announced Thursday that by 2020 the $10 bill, now the exclusive provenance of the first U.S. Treasury secretary, will feature a yet-to-be-named woman.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew “will select a notable woman — with a focus on celebrating a champion for our inclusive democracy,” the department announced in a statement that invited the American public to send suggestions.
Mr. Lew will announce which woman will be on the $10 bill by year’s end, Treasury said.
The new bills will be unveiled and in circulation in 2020, “the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment,” which gave women in every state the right to vote, Treasury said.
It was unclear Wednesday night what Hamilton’s exact fate would be — whether he’d remain on a separate series of printings or whether the new bills, designed to be harder to counterfeit, will feature both him and the woman.
The Department solicited public commentary under the social media hashtag #TheNewTen.
But as often happens on social media, that hashtag quickly became taken over by ridicule. “The Old 10 of Bo Derek will be hard to follow,” tweeted one jokester.
Katie McHugh of Breitbart News, riffing off Mr. Lew’s calls for a celebration of “inclusive democracy,” predicted that “#TheNewTen will be a transgendered illegal alien carrying a mattress across the border.”
No woman has been featured on U.S. paper currency for more than a century. Pocahontas was on a series of $20 bills printed after the Civil War, and some late-19th century silver certificates featured Martha Washington.
There have been two attempts in the last few decades to put a woman’s head on dollar coins. But neither the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin nor the Sacagawea “golden dollar” proved popular with the U.S. public, which continues to prefer dollar bills.