Who deserves to be on the $20.00 bill?Interesting discussion on whether Jackson deserves to be on the $20.00, and the concensus seems to be he doesn't. That being said, who does deserve to be there?

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linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

It's ironic that Jackson is on any denomination of paper currency because he hated the whole idea of paper money and fought against it and the National Bank while he was president. I would suggest replacing him with the Great Communicator: Ronald Reagan.

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I like the idea of branching out a little and considering others who have contributed to the development of American society. Martin Luther King? Rosa Parkes? I know the icon that would be most recognised has the wrong connotations, but Walt Disney could be considered...

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

All good comments.  I think Jackson stands apart form other presidents though - there is no fine line when it comes to genocide, and what President today would get away with ignoring a Supreme Court order.  I think comparing him to other past leaders' racism and mistakes is like comparing apples and a truckload of apples.  I just can't get past it.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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What about putting great thinkers and writers on the bills? Certainly, there are men and woman among them who were honorable and who made great contributions to society.  Other countries have noted their recognition of greatness on their money in this way (France, for one).

Nominations for Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck....

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I like FDR, but why not Lincoln or even Reagan?  I agree that no one is perfect, and many (including our present President) have made racist comments or shown less than stellar character in both personal and public lives.  Would it have to be a founding father or within the first decades?  If not, FDR, Lincoln, or Reagan seem like good choices.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If we have to get everyone off the currency who was opposed to Native Americans, we're going to have a pretty short list.  The same goes for people who acted badly towards other minority groups.

Woodrow Wilson wasn't pure either -- he loved DW Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" because it was in his opinion, a true portrayal of the history of the South.  So he had little love for black people.  Better get him off of there.

FDR allowed discrimination in the New Deal.  He allowed the internment of the Japanese-Americans.  He cheated on his wife.  Get him off of there.

No one is "good enough" to be on our money -- all of our leaders (like just about everyone) has their major faults.  Maybe we should do like the Canadians and put a bird on our money.  Otherwise, we have to take the bad with the good because there are precious few people we could put on our currency who weren't in some way offensive.

While I typed, we got all of those other answers up there... I really don't see how Jefferson is okay and Jackson isn't...

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I think that two of the people mentioned above are both great choices. Franklin Roosevelt brought us through the depression, he would be an excellent choice. Also Thomas Jefferson both as a President and a Statesman working on drafting the Constitution would be another great choice.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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My personal vote would go for Oprah Winfrey, but as she is unlikely to get on, why not go for FDR :-). It might be quite fun to completely change the monetary system and upgrade or downgrade people as appropriate based on what we think of them now. Who would be "in" and who would be "out"?

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

What about Nixon?  Just kidding.

I always thought Thomas Jefferson got short shrift with the $2 bill.  Considering his impact on both the Constitution and the shape of the nation, seems like he would be a good candidate for the $20 bill over Jackson.

As our first African-American President, perhaps Barack Obama as well, though history has yet to judge his Presidency, so perhaps not.

Agree with the above post, FDR is also a good choice.

larrygates's profile pic

larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Perhaps Woodrow Wilson, who was President at the time the true Federal Reserve System was created. I believe he was originally on the $100,000 bill, but since these are no longer extant, he would be my nominee. A second candidate might be Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who restored hope to the American people during the Great Depression and under whose presidency the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was founded. Both men had their shortcomings; but there is not the cruel irony that now exists with Jackson on the twenty.

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