The New York Times obtained an image of a "facsimile" design for the proposed Harriet Tubman note. -Editor
Extensive work was well underway on a new $20 bill bearing the image of Harriet Tubman when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced last month
that the design of the note would be delayed for technical reasons by six years and might not include the former slave and abolitionist.
In fact, work on the new $20 note began before Mr. Trump took office, and the basic design already on paper most likely could have satisfied the
goal of unveiling a note bearing Tubman's likeness on next year's centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. An image
of a new $20 bill, produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and obtained by The New York Times from a former Treasury Department
official, depicts Tubman in a dark coat with a wide collar and a white scarf.
That preliminary design was completed in late 2016.
A spokeswoman for the bureau, Lydia Washington, confirmed that preliminary designs of the new note were created as part of research that was done
after Jacob J. Lew, President Barack Obama's final Treasury secretary, proposed the idea of a Tubman bill.
The development of the note did not stop there. A current employee of the bureau, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the
matter, personally viewed a metal engraving plate and a digital image of a Tubman $20 bill while it was being reviewed by engravers and Secret
Service officials as recently as May 2018. This person said that the design appeared to be far along in the process.
Within the bureau, this person said, there was a sense of excitement and pride about the new $20 note.
In a separate statement released on Friday afternoon, Len Olijar, the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said the bureau "was never
going to unveil a note design in 2020," adding that doing so this far in advance of going into circulation would aid counterfeiters. He described the
image obtained by The Times as a "facsimile" that contained no security features, and he echoed Mr. Mnuchin's argument that it was too early
to develop an integrated concept or design until security features are finalized.
To read the complete article, see:
See a Design of the Harriet Tubman $20 Bill That Mnuchin
Wayne Homren, Editor
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