But, we really seem to like, or tolerate, dead presidents! I use the word tolerate because there is a loud voice from the public to upgrade our negotiable bills. And what do they want instead? Women and science and technology! And, I tend to agree that we need a change that more accurately portrays our present century. However, it seems unlikely that images of space, bacteria, or computer code would be in our near future. But, it is time for another woman. What? Yes, there have been two women on our one dollar bill. But it took a long time to see the representation of 50 % of the population. The first one dollar bill was issued in 1863 with Abraham Lincoln (who was still alive) accompanied by the secretary of the treasury Salmon P. Chase. In 1869 George Washington took his place on the bill and sits there today; with two exceptions. 1886 saw the portrait of Martha Washington on the much used currency. And, in 1889, Pocahontas graced the bills obverse (front). And that is the extent of women on our paper money!
Along with the two women appearing on paper money, several women have been featured on US coins. Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller and Sacajawea have all appeared on coins minted during the 20th and 21st centuries. The Susan B. Anthony $1 USD coin was produced from 1979-81 and again in 1999. Sacagawea $1 USD coins were introduced in 2000. In 2003, a limited edition Alabama quarter was minted featuring the likeness of Helen Keller.
Perhaps we should consider women in science to satisfy both criteria for new paper money. For example, how about Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Noble prize in physics? And then, three years later she won a second Noble prize in Chemistry. She certainly has the qualification equal to the dead presidents!
Now if we could just get rid of pennies and nickels that cost more to produce than their face value. Just an observation…