Here’s another post in celebration of Women’s History Month—Ed.

angelou3-sizedA phenomenal woman, Maya Angelou, is a favorite choice for a woman on the U.S. $20 Bill.

There’s a plan afoot to try to get a woman’s portrait onto American currency, and I say it‘s about time! Women on 20s,  whose motto is “A Woman’s Place Is On The Money,” is currently holding an online competition (there’s a slate of serious candidates) to choose a famous American female to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill. 

Inspired, I asked my Facebook friends: Who would you like to see replace Andy on the twenty?  

The first response: 

Eleanor Roosevelt!

Quickly followed by: 

Harriet Tubman, hands down. 


Moms Mabley. 

Molly Brown. She’s unsinkable, so our currency would never crash.

Mae West. We could change E Pluribus Unum to “Come up and see me sometime.” 

The suggestions continued, both serious and sarcastic: 

Abigail Adams.

Barbara Walters!

Sojourner Truth. 


Minnie Mouse—the quintessential American female icon.

Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul would totally rock a twenty. 

One liberal pal suggested Hillary Clinton—“so she’d be able to raise even more money for her 2016 campaign!” My conservative friend Carol suggested Hillary too. “But only for a counterfeit bill, so it would be just as fake as she is.” (I love Carol for her wit, not her politics.) 

The responses continued pouring in: 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton! 

Marge Simpson—complete with blue hair. 

Amelia Earhart.  

Jane Addams! She was the first American woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, and she was a supporter of both civil rights and immigration reform. Progressive but non-partisan, an excellent role model in every way.  

Politicians and public figures proved to be popular choices:

Rosa Parks. 

Rachel Carson. 

Shirley Chisholm.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ann Richards! Smart, sassy and savvy. What’s not to love?  

Eleanor Roosevelt, a great American who cared for the downtrodden and spoke up for them and for all women. 

Pop Culture Icons were popular:   

Janis Joplin!

Samantha from Bewitched.

Marilyn Monroe. 

Elaine Stritch! 

Leona Helmsley. But we’d have to replace E Pluribus Unum with  “Only the little people pay taxes.” 

Oprah! After all, at one time or another she’s likely to have owned that dollar bill you’re holding. 

One friend apparently couldn’t choose between a political figure and a pop-culture icon:

I vote for either Eleanor Roosevelt or Grumpy Cat. 

And my sister’s choice? Shirley Temple, iconic child actress and accomplished diplomat.  

Within 24 hours I’d received hundreds of responses. The woman who got the most votes by far? Eleanor Roosevelt. She gets my vote too.  

But my own favorite response was this:  

I vote for Maya Angelou. Especially if her wisdom could be transferred to everyone who handled the bill.

I’d pay a lot more than twenty dollars to see that happen.     

Thanks, Nicole Hollander and Bad Girl Chats, for inspiring this piece!


Join the conversation

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  • George Winston March 11, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Dr. Satsuki Ina,

    a Japanese woman born in the Tule lake Prison camp would be wonderful on US currency. She won an Emmy for her movie, “Children of the Camps.”

  • mary orovan March 9, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Eleanor Roosevelt. Marilyn Monroe #@&!, the epitomy of the harm that’s been done to women OMG And why the sexist dig at Hillary, sexism is so alive and well, alas, among women! that they are quick to feel uneasy and buy the effective subtly and overtly sexist campaign against her. No matter how you vote, shame on you.

  • Linda Anker March 25, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I feel that Mother Theresa should be on the new twenty dollar bill. Not for her Religious beliefs, but for the good she has done for the disadvantaged of the world. And she asked for nothing in return.

  • Deborah Harkins March 23, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    How about Elizabeth Cady Stanton on one side and Martin Luther King on the other?

  • Kate March 23, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Roz, of course.

  • Emily Kelting March 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Moms Mabley? Are you kidding? Definitely Eleanor Roosevelt. Or Maya Angelou. Or Rosa Parks.

  • Andi March 21, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Love the idea of Maya or Rosa Parks, but many of the choices are good – I would not do an entertainer – money is serious business and they just seem on brand!

  • Lois Alter Mark March 21, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Maya Angelou would be a great choice for the first woman on a bill. Maybe our upcoming female president could be next 🙂

  • Lisa at Grandma's Briefs March 21, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with those rooting for Eleanor Roosevelt. How could there be any question!?

  • Carol Cassara March 21, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Ohh … Eleanor, for certain. I think she’s tops for this.

  • Rena McDaniel March 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    My first thought was Maya Angelou but it is a tough choice between her and Elainor Roosevelt fot me. It would be amazing to see!

  • Haralee March 21, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    The criteria being discussed is the person must be dead. I like Eleanor too but I like Rosa Parks more.

  • William Kendall March 21, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, or Billie Holiday.

  • diane Dettmann March 21, 2015 at 10:07 am

    It’s definitely time for a woman’s picture to be on a $20 dollar bill. Even a $1bill with Eleanor Roosevelt on it would be a big step for women!

  • Mister Wonderful March 21, 2015 at 9:22 am

    This is wonderful!