Dreams of Alabama-native Helen Keller gracing the new $10 bill come to an end

Helen Keller

Just weeks after it began the campaign to make Alabama-native Helen Keller the face of the new $10 bill in place of Alexander Hamilton has come to an end.

POLITICO is reporting Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will announce plans Wednesday that Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill following an unexpected public show of support.

Wednesday’s abrupt about-face comes as a disappointment to many.

“While we are very disappointed that Helen Keller, ‘America’s Ambassador to the World,’ was not chosen for either of these bills, we remain committed to the legacy, and work of Helen Keller,” Keller J. Thompson, great grand-niece of Helen Keller and VP of Education at the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education told Alabama Today. “We believe that few people have ever changed the world as she has, and we certainly remain hopefully that she will be chosen for future currency changes that may take place.”

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced plans to place a woman’s face on the redesigned $10 bill and opened the suggestion process to the public through its website.

Instead of changing the face of the $10 bill, Treasury will instead put abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson.

“We congratulate Harriet Tubman for her work,bravery and dedication during a very trying time of our nation’s history,” Thompson said of Wednesday’s news. “We hope this exercise will continue to educate America and the world on some of the great women in our history. I am fairly certain that Helen Keller and Harriet Tubman never had the opportunity to meet on another but I think if that had, that would have truly been able to identify with each other, and the obstacles that they overcame in their respective lives.”

Earlier this month, state and local officials rallied in Tuscumbia at Ivy Green, the north Alabama home of the late Keller for a press event intended to inform the public of the campaign and to garner public support for a Helen Keller bill.


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