When the Secretary of the Treasury announced that Andrew Jackson would be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, he was met with mixed reactions from the American public. While most people agreed that ‘It’s about damn time,’ other responses included, ‘Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill?’ and, ‘Wait, who is Andrew Jackson?’
We put people’s faces on money because we want to acknowledge them, celebrate them, and remember them. So, in honor of the women and men on our cold hard cash, I compiled a little list- Here are some bizarre facts about the faces you’ll find on U.S. currency:
Penny- Abraham Lincoln
Honest Abe, my personal favorite, kept the ‘United’ in United States. He also called for the end of slavery. If you don’t already love the man, you should know that he had a cat named Tabby that ate with him at the dinner table.
O Captain my Captain.
Nickle- Thomas Jefferson
He wrote the Declaration of Independence and then later became President. So yeah, he’s a pretty big deal and widely considered one of the greats. He did, however, have a darker side. He was a slave owner. And a total food snob. He once asked his slave James Hemings to learn to make French cuisine. In return, Hemings would be freed.
Dime- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Another favorite of mine, FDR lead the nation through some tough times: The Great Depression and WWII. Luckily, he had the help of Eleanor, one of the most bad-ass first ladies to ever step foot in the White House. Oh yeah, the Roosevelts were cousins. Eleanor would never be one to take her husband’s name! Because it was also her name. Because she was his cousin.
Quarter- George Washington
He led us to independence and formed the foundation of our nation. I tear up when I read Washington’s Farewell Address. (no shame) In other news, here are his favorite foods: cream of peanut soup, mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, and string beans with mushrooms.
What do these all have in common? You can eat them with false teeth.
Half Dollar- John F. Kennedy
Known for integrating schools, causing problems with Castro, and being insanely, insanely hot. Despite his many mistresses (including Marilyn Monroe), he was known to be very body conscious. He brought a bathroom scale with him whenever he traveled.
Silver Dollar- Susan B. Anthony
When you hear ‘feminist role model,’ please forget Taylor Swift. Think Susan B. Anthony. This woman of steel is the reason I get to go to the polls. Her BFF was Frederick Douglas, and she could read and write by age three. She’s just really awesome.
Golden Dollar- Sacagawea
Let’s be honest, Lewis and Clark didn’t do shit. It was Sacagawea that led the ‘explorers’ across the continent, and she did it with a baby on her back. P.S. She was about 15 years old during the expedition. Think about that next time you watch Teen Mom.
$1- George Washington
Ya know how GW is always pictured with that awkwardly fluffy mane of white hair? That’s not a wig. That’s his real hair. Now you know.
$2- Thomas Jefferson
“Bon appétit” –James Hemings, a free man
$5- Abraham Lincoln
Why is Lincoln’s hat so big? ~Because it’s full of secrets~
But actually, he kept important documents in his hat.
$10- Alexander Hamilton
The life story of Hamilton is essentially the story of America’s founding. A Scottish immigrant, he was the youngest founding father and widely considered the hottest. He was so good with the ladies that Martha Washington named her feral Tom cat ‘Alexander’ in his honor.
But you already knew that because you know every word to Hamilton, the musical by Lin Manuel Miranda. Yeah… me too.
$20- Andrew Jackson/ Harriet Tubman
He signed the Indian Removal Act, later known as the Trail of Tears. I think that’s reason enough to get your face scrapped from the 20. Here’s something that doesn’t quite add up- He was also the adopted father of two Native American children. During the Creek War (1813- 1814), he rescued two orphaned boys, one of which he found in the arms of his dead mother. Jackson claimed that, being an orphan himself, he sympathized with the children.
The Treasury is about to see some CHANGE. (get it?) sorry.
When we think Harriet Tubman, we think Underground Railroad, but that was only the beginning. After liberating over 3,000 enslaved people, she led an armed expedition in the Civil War and later became a prominent speaker for the women’s suffrage movement. She was also narcoleptic. Due to a head injury sustained when she was enslaved, she would fall asleep at random.
And her nick-name was Minty… for some reason.
$50- Ulysses S. Grant
Incredible general but a mediocre president, Grant is pretty much the reason the Union won the Civil War. By the way, he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Apparently, the man who fought the bloodiest war in US history got nauseous when he saw people bleeding.
$100- Benjamin Franklin
Yes, this is the old dude that consciously tried to get electrocuted by flying a kite with a key on it during a lightning storm. He gets pinned as the old, virtuous Founding Father that said things like “early to bed and early to rise.” Au contraire. Franklin was hilarious. A few of his lesser-known writings include Rules on Making Oneself Disagreeable, On Choosing a Mistress, and Fart Proudly. (Available on Amazon Prime)
All people, even insanely great people, are very strange. Now you know.