History is full of ironies. The U.S. Treasury launched a big one in 1928, when it selected Andrew Jackson to be the face of the twenty-dollar bill. How's that ironic? Andrew Jackson considered only precious metals such as gold and silver to have monetary value. He distrusted paper money and spent much of his presidency working to defeat a national banking system. Not exactly the poster boy for a bill that makes up 25 percent of the paper money printed in the United States this year.
But Jackson may end up with the last laugh, under a plan announced Wednesday, April 20. Four years from now, Old Hickory will move from the front to the back of the twenty-dollar bill. In his place, abolitionist Harriet Tubman will appear.
The news triggered a deluge of opinions both for and against the move. To offer a fuller perspective, and to explore why changing a piece of paper engenders such emotion, WUOT All Things Considered host Brandon Hollingsworth spoke with Dan Feller, director and editor of the Papers of Andrew Jackson Project at the University of Tennessee.