United States twenty-dollar bill

Last updated

Twenty dollars
(United States)
Width156 mm
Height66.3 mm
Weightc. 1.0 [1]  g
Security featuresSecurity fibers, watermark, security thread, color shifting ink, micro printing, raised printing, EURion constellation
Material used75% cotton
25% linen
Years of printing1861–present
US $20 Series 2006 Obverse.jpg
Design Andrew Jackson
Design date2003
US $20 Series 2006 Reverse.jpg
Design White House
Design date2003

The United States twenty-dollar bill (US$20) is a denomination of U.S. currency. A portrait of Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president (1829–1837), has been featured on the obverse of the bill since 1928; the White House is featured on the reverse.


As of December 2018, the average life of a $20 bill in circulation is 7.8 years before it is replaced due to wear. [2] Twenty-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in violet straps.


Large-sized notes

Small size notes

Andrew Jackson has appeared on the $20 bill since the series of 1928. The placement of Jackson on the $20 bill is considered ironic; as president, he vehemently opposed both the National Bank and use of paper money. After the president of the Second Bank of the United States, Nicholas Biddle, defied Jackson and requested the renewal of the charter of the Second Bank in an election year, Jackson responded by making it a goal of his administration to destroy the National Bank. [3] [4] Jackson prevailed over Biddle, and the absence of the Second Bank contributed to a real estate bubble in the mid-1830s. The bubble collapsed in the Panic of 1837, leading to a deep depression. [5]

Given Jackson's opposition to the concept of a National Bank, his presence on the $20 bill was controversial from the start. When pressed to reveal why the various images were chosen for the new bills, Treasury officials denied there was any political motivation. Instead, they insisted that the images were based only on their relative familiarity to the public. An article in the June 30, 1929 issue of the New York Times, stated "The Treasury Department maintains stoutly that the men chosen for small bills, which are naturally the ones in most demand, were so placed because their faces were most familiar to the majority of people." [6] It is also true that 1928 coincides with the 100th anniversary of Jackson's election as president, but no evidence has surfaced that would suggest that this was a factor in the decision. According to more recent inquiries of the U.S. Treasury: "Treasury Department records do not reveal the reason that portraits of these particular statesmen were chosen in preference to those of other persons of equal importance and prominence." [7]

Series dates

Small size

TypeSeries Register Treasurer Seal
National Bank Note Types 1 & 21929 Jones Woods Brown
Federal Reserve Bank Note 1928AJonesWoodsBrown
TypeSeries Treasurer Secretary Seal
Gold Certificate 1928 Woods Mellon Gold
Federal Reserve Note 1928 Tate MellonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1928AWoodsMellonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1928BWoodsMellonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1928CWoods Mills Green
Federal Reserve Note1934 Julian Morgenthau Green
Federal Reserve Note1934 HawaiiJulianMorgenthauBrown
Federal Reserve Note1934AJulianMorgenthauGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934A HawaiiJulianMorgenthauBrown
Federal Reserve Note1934BJulian Vinson Green
Federal Reserve Note1934CJulian Snyder Green
Federal Reserve Note1934D Clark SnyderGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950ClarkSnyderGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950A Priest Humphrey Green
Federal Reserve Note1950BPriest Anderson Green
Federal Reserve Note1950C Smith Dillon Green
Federal Reserve Note1950D Granahan DillonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950EGranahan Fowler Green
Federal Reserve Note1963GranahanDillonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1963AGranahanFowlerGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969 Elston Kennedy Green
Federal Reserve Note1969A Kabis Connally Green
Federal Reserve Note1969B Bañuelos ConnallyGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969CBañuelos Shultz Green
Federal Reserve Note1974 Neff Simon Green
Federal Reserve Note1977 Morton Blumenthal Green
Federal Reserve Note1981 Buchanan Regan Green
Federal Reserve Note1981A Ortega ReganGreen
Federal Reserve Note1985Ortega Baker Green
Federal Reserve Note1988A Villalpando Brady Green
Federal Reserve Note1990VillalpandoBradyGreen
Federal Reserve Note1993 Withrow Bentsen Green
Federal Reserve Note1995Withrow Rubin Green
Federal Reserve Note1996WithrowRubinGreen
Federal Reserve Note1999Withrow Summers Green
Federal Reserve Note2001 Marin O'Neill Green
Federal Reserve Note2004Marin Snow Green
Federal Reserve Note2004A Cabral SnowGreen
Federal Reserve Note2006Cabral Paulson Green
Federal Reserve Note2009 Rios Geithner Green
Federal Reserve Note2013Rios Lew Green
Federal Reserve Note2017 Carranza Mnuchin Green
Federal Reserve Note2017ACarranzaMnuchinGreen

Proposed redesigns of the 20 dollar bill

In a campaign called "Women on 20s", selected voters were asked to choose three of 15 female candidates to have a portrait on the $20 bill. The goal was to have a woman on the $20 bill by 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. [13] Among the candidates on the petition were Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. [14]

On May 12, 2015, Tubman was announced as the winning candidate of that "grassroots" poll with more than 600,000 people surveyed and more than 118,000 choosing Tubman, followed by Roosevelt, Parks and Mankiller. [15]

On June 17, 2015, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that a woman's portrait would be featured on a redesigned $10 bill by 2020, replacing Alexander Hamilton. [16] However, that decision was reversed, at least in part due to Hamilton's surging popularity following the hit Broadway musical Hamilton . [17]

On April 20, 2016, Lew officially announced that Alexander Hamilton would remain on the $10 bill, while Andrew Jackson would be replaced by Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, with Jackson appearing on the reverse. [18] [19] Lew simultaneously announced that the five- and ten-dollar bills would also be redesigned in the coming years and put into production in the next decade. [18] [19] However, as the $20 was not scheduled to be replaced until after the $10, this moved the production date of the referenced bill containing Tubman back frustrating supporters of placing a woman on a bill. Secretary Lew reiterated that the $10 would be redesigned first. [20]

Trump administration

While campaigning for president, Donald Trump responded to the announcement that Tubman would replace Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill. The day following the announcement Trump called Tubman "fantastic", but stated that he would oppose replacing Jackson with Tubman, calling the replacement "pure political correctness", and suggested that Tubman could perhaps be put on another denomination instead. [21]

On August 31, 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he would not commit to putting Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill, explaining "People have been on the bills for a long period of time. This is something we'll consider; right now we have a lot more important issues to focus on." [22] According to a Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) spokesperson, the next redesigned bill will be the ten-dollar bill, not set to be released into circulation until at least 2026. [23] [24]

In May 2019, Mnuchin stated that no new imagery for the new 2028 $20 bill would be unveiled until 2026. He also reaffirmed that the new $20 bill would not be moved up ahead of the new $10 or $50 bills due to counterfeiting security concerns regarding the $10 and $50. Mnuchin would not say whether he supported keeping Tubman on the redesigned $20. He said that the decision will be left to whoever is Treasury secretary in 2026. [25] Democratic members of the House of Representatives asked Mnuchin to provide more specific reasons for the design release delay. (The production date of new $20, 2028, was unchanged from timeline announced in 2016 by the Obama administration) [26] The Director of the BEP, Len Olijar, released a statement saying that the "BEP was never going to unveil a note design in 2020" and that the illustration used by the New York Times was not a new $20 note. [27] Later in June, the Treasury Department's acting inspector general, Rich Delmar, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stating that his office would investigate the issue. [28]

In June 2020, the Office of Inspector General released a report detailing the results of its investigation, which concluded that the $20 note's position in the redesign sequence had not changed, that the earlier announcement of the 2020 date by the Obama administration "was made outside of the note development governance structure and without the recommendation of the ACD" (referring to the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee), that the $10 note redesign set to precede the $20 redesign had already been delayed to no earlier than 2026 by 2016, and that the $20 note had not yet entered the banknote design process and was not expected to be production-ready until 2030. [29]

Biden administration

In January 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed President Joe Biden will accelerate the Tubman redesign. [30] However, a 2022 internal department message from the Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, reaffirmed the 2030 debut originally planned by the Trump Administration. [31] [32]

See also

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