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time for a change

April 10, 2015

My dear friend Inveterate Teacher recently asked me to vote for the first woman to be represented on  U.S. paper money.  The group “Women on 20’s” is advocating that Andrew Jackson be replaced for two basic reasons: (1) the year 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Constitutional Amendment, which gave women the right to vote; and (2) Jackson, despite his many admirable actions, was largely responsible for the passage of the Indian Removal Act.

The Act authorized the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee and Seminole) from the Deep South, opening up 25 million square acres of their homelands to white settlers.  Forced to move to “Indian Territory” in what is now Oklahoma, many of the tribe members died from starvation, exhaustion or illness on the “Trail of Tears”.  Death toll estimates range from a specious 840 (garnered from government documents) to ten times that.  Whatever the actual figure, it was one of the most heinous events on record.

Mainly for that reason, Jude and I voted for Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.  Among her many accomplishments are participating in the 1969-71 Occupation of Alcatraz Island and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Her co-nominees — Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks — are also worthy of the honour, but they already have a prominent place in history.

So please go to to make your choice.  And please spread the word.  It’s time for the old white guys to share their fame.

Thank you.

  1. Judith permalink
    April 11, 2015 1:15 pm

    Thanks I voted!

    • April 12, 2015 12:21 pm

      Thank you. Please spread the word.

  2. Inveterate Teacher permalink
    April 11, 2015 4:57 pm

    Thanks so much Allen for posting this, and for giving a bit of the rationale behind the “women on 20s” effort. It’s a good point you make about 3 of the nominees having an established place in history (i.e. their names and accomplishments are familiar to most people), while Wilma Mankiller, equally deserving, does not. I hadn’t even considered things from that point of view, probably because I’ve personally been familiar with her and her work for about 30 years. Of course, the fact that she’s not well-known to the general public may be reason enough for some people to not vote for her, and that’s a legitimate stance too. Thanks again for the post, and thanks to everyone who votes!

    • April 12, 2015 12:23 pm

      It was my honour to help a sister out.

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