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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Lesson Opportunity: Treasury to Place a Woman's Portrait on the Ten Dollar Bill

Do you know who is on a ten dollar bill? If you answered Alexander Hamilton, you are correct...for now. The U.S. Treasury has announced that there will be a change coming in 2020. A woman's face will be featured on the ten dollar bill!  The year, 2020, is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

An organization has been petitioning the U.S. Treasury to place a woman's face on the twenty dollar bill for this 100th anniversary. Currently, President Andrew Jackson is on the twenty dollar bill. Due to Jackson's treatment of Native Americans, this particular bill was suggested for the change. An online vote asking people which woman they'd like to see selected, picked Harriet Tubman.

The U.S. Treasury will begin asking people which woman they'd like to see on the new ten dollar bill.

Trivia: Did you know that the last woman to be on a U.S. paper currency was Martha Washington?


1. Have small groups Name 10 famous women in U.S. History. Regroup and list the 3 most named.
2. By law, a person must not be living to be selected for selection for U.S. Currency. What would be 3 characteristics you would use for your selection?
3. Who would be your selection and why?

Personally, I would select Eleanor Roosevelt.

Born into wealth, advice from her dad helped shaped the person she became. He told her after reading the story, "The Ugly Duckling," “We mustn’t spend too much time thinking about ourselves. We must think about other people, too."  This is what Eleanor did all her life! I remember reading a story about how as a young girl,while visiting Italy with her family, went for a donkey ride. When she noticed the young boy guiding the donkey had no shoes, she showed kindness by letting HIM ride the donkey!

When her husband,Franklin Roosevelt contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair, Eleanor became the yes, ears and legs for her husband. Eleanor traveled the country, returning with information that helped shape the policies of her husband’s 12 years in the White House. Eleanor also showed her bravery by traveled to visit troops during World War 2.

When asked the 3 most important things for happiness, Eleanor replied, "A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”

She strongly believed that  “freedom must be universal and all men must be assured that there will be respect for the individual human being, regardless of his race, his creed, or his color”. Civil Rights were very important concern to Eleanor. In fact, she caused quite a commotion when on March 29,1941, she  went for a ride with a pilot,one of the Tuskegee Airmen. It is hard to believe today but at the time, many people didn’t think African Americans could safely fly aircrafts. She wanted to change that perception … and helped to do so.   She also resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution, when in 1939, the group refused permission for African American singer, Marian Anderson, to perform at Constitution Hall.  Eleanor then organized a performance at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, attended by over 75,000 people!

Called a  humanitarian, she worked at the  newly formed  UN after her husband  died. The organization  stood for a moment of  silence  in her honor at her death in 1962. President Truman call Eleanor Roosevelt, the  “First Lady of the World.”

In my opinion, Eleanor would be a great choice for the new ten dollar bill.


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