NPRtubman on 20

The Women on 20s campaign, which seeks to put a female face on the $20 bill, has announced a winner: Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave whose ingenuity and courage led other captives to freedom.

Tubman narrowly edged Eleanor Roosevelt, finishing with 118,328 votes to Roosevelt’s 111,227, according to Women on 20s. More than 600,000 votes were cast over 10 weeks, including more than 350,000 in the final round that began on April 5.

Early on, Roosevelt had led Tubman by nearly 15,000 votes, but the final round brought a reversal.

We’ll note that Tubman’s appearance on the $20 bill would have a special historical resonance: That’s the same amount she eventually received from the U.S. government as her monthly pension for her service as a nurse, scout, cook and spy during the Civil War, as well as for her status as the widow of a veteran.

A petition has now been sent to President Obama asking him “to order the Secretary of the Treasury to change the current portrait portrayed on our American $20 bank note to reflect the remarkable accomplishments of an exemplary American woman who has helped shape our Nation’s great history.”

In the Women on 20s vote, Rosa Parks came in third, with 64,173 votes, and Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to become the Cherokee Nation’s chief, was fourth, with 58,703. Others on the ballot included Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. read more