From the WSJ, Treasury Secretary Lew Planned to Put Susan B. Anthony on $10 Bill, the history of the new face of the $10 dollar bill is more involved than you might think:
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew originally planned to put Susan B. Anthony on the front of the $10 bill and suspend production of the penny in a revamp of the nation’s money, according to a memo he sent to President Barack Obama last year.
But Mr. Lew decided to ask the public which American woman should go on the $10 bill to inspire a feel-good campaign about women’s contributions to U.S. history, culminating with the final decision announced later in the year. The Treasury launched a splashy website and social-media campaign for “The New 10.”
He ended up getting an earful. Devotees of Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary and current face of the $10 bill, rushed to defend him. A grass-roots campaign that had lobbied to put a woman on the $20 bill instead argued for ditching Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, from the $20 bill.
The March 2015 memo, which hadn’t previously been reported, sheds new light on a couple of long-running currency dramas. The penny suspension hadn’t been announced, though Mr. Lew last fall said it was under consideration.
So will the penny survive? Maybe, “We’ve been looking at the penny for a long time, because obviously the value of a penny has gotten smaller and smaller as time has gone on,” Mr. Lew said at a forum on the $10 bill last November. “Even with low inflation, it continues to diminish.” Many have argued for years the benefits of the penny do not justify its existence any longer. After all, “it cost 1.7 cents to produce a penny in the 2014 fiscal year.”