WASHINGTON - The US will put the image of a woman on an American banknote for the first time in over a century, breaking the lock that white male political heroes have on the greenback.
The US Treasury announced on Thursday that a yet-unchosen woman, likely "a champion for our inclusive democracy", will feature on the US$10 note from 2020, replacing Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury.
Only twice before have women featured on US paper currency. Martha Washington, wife of first President George Washington, was on US$1 notes in the 1880s and 1890s.
- Martha Washington, wife of first US President: On US$1 notes in 1880s, 1890s
- Pocahontas: As part of a group of people on banknotes in 1860
Pocahontas, a Native American woman linked to the colonial settlement at Jamestown, was featured in a group of people on banknotes in the 1860s.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the woman on the new US$10 bill will be chosen by the Treasury after fielding the ideas of the public "about what qualities best represent democracy.
"America's currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for. Our paper bills - and the images of great American leaders and symbols they depict - have long been a way for us to honour our past and express our values."
Current US banknotes all feature male figures from the country's history: Washington on the US$1 note, President Abraham Lincoln on the US$5, Hamilton on the US$10, President Andrew Jackson on the US$20, President and Civil War commander Ulysses S. Grant on the US$50 and inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin on the US$100.
The Treasury said it would review comments about the new design submitted on its website and on social media using the tag "TheNew10". The winner will be chosen later this year, the department said.