On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
86°
Clear
H 87° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    86°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 87° L 69°
  • clear-night
    70°
    Morning
    Clear. H 87° L 69°
  • clear-day
    87°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 91° L 70°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Bid to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill falters
Close

Bid to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill falters

Harriet Tubman and the $20 Bill

Bid to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill falters

An Obama-era plan to feature Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is crumbling.

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the 2020 unveiling of the note, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of a Constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote, has been canceled.

>> Girl, 3, reaching out to mural of Harriet Tubman caught in emotional photo

He pushed back the redesign of the $20 bill at least nine years, offering no guarantees that it will bear the likeness of the celebrated abolitionist.

“The primary reason we have looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues,” Mnuchin said in response to questions by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. “Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand.”

Pressley said it is time for America to better reflect who built it.

“People other than white men built this county. And Secretary Mnuchin agrees, yet he refuses to update our currency,” she said in a tweet. “Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt are iconic Americans and it’s past time that our money reflects that.”

>> See the tweet here

Andy Ambrose, executive director of the Tubman Museum in Macon, Georgia, called the decision “unfortunate” and noted that Tubman was long denied a military pension before Congress approved a $20 monthly payment.

“Harriet Tubman deserves this national recognition that has been long delayed, as she is one of the most courageous, inspiring women in American history,” he said. “But this is part and parcel of the history of this country and the way in which African American women have been, and continue to be, treated and unacknowledged.”

Susan Ades Stone, the executive director of the organization that initially proposed putting Tubman on the $20 bill, said Mnuchin’s punt is a calculated political move directed by President Donald Trump. She called for Congress to intervene.

>> Read more trending news 

“We’re not surprised that Secretary Mnuchin may be kicking the design reveal of the $20 bill to sometime beyond the potential interference of a Trump presidency,” Stone said. “The Tubman $20 design was supposed to be unveiled by 2020 and, even under the most optimistic timetable set out by the Obama administration, was never expected to be in our hands before 2026.”

It was in the waning days of the Obama administration that then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the redesigned bills.

Stone’s group, Women on 20s, had submitted a petition to the White House in 2015, urging Obama to consider replacing Jackson on the $20 bill with the image of the former slave.

Women on 20s also had considered Rosa Parks, who sparked the beginning of the modern civil rights movement; former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The initial plan was to replace the image of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill as part of the Treasury’s redesign of bills to make them harder to counterfeit.

That thinking began to change, in part because of the Broadway smash “Hamilton.” With the play’s success, the profile of Hamilton, the country’s first treasury secretary, began to climb.

The focus then shifted to the $20 bill.

>> On AJC.com: How much did Tubman get in her monthly pension for serving as a Civil War nurse?

Tubman would have been the first African American on U.S. currency and only the second woman. Martha Washington appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, and on the back of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896, according to the U.S. Mint.

Known as Moses, Tubman escaped slavery in Maryland then spent a large part of her life returning to the South as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a secret network that helped fugitive slaves get to free states.

Tubman rescued approximately 70 people on more than 13 trips back to Maryland, according to Kate Clifford Larson’s 2003 biography, “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.”

It has been nearly a century since one of the faces on U.S. paper currency has changed.

In 1928 — for reasons that remain unclear — Grover Cleveland was replaced on the $20 bill by Jackson, America’s seventh president.

Ironically, Jackson opposed the use of paper currency. Those who wanted to see him replaced pointed out that he owned hundreds of slaves who worked his Hermitage plantation in Nashville.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized Jackson to grant unsettled land west of the Mississippi River to southern tribes who agreed to give up their ancestral homelands. The mass removal of the Cherokee tribe to Oklahoma became known as the Trail of Tears.

>> On AJC.com: Trump White House putting the brakes on Tubman on $20

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump praised Jackson, whom he considers a hero and is said to have modeled his populist administration after.

A portrait of Jackson hangs in the Oval Office, and Trump placed a wreath on his tomb to mark Jackson’s 250th birthday in 2018.

He has said that the decision to put Tubman on the currency was “pure political correctness” and proposed putting her portrait on the $2 bill, which has the lowest circulation volume of any bill.

Stone rejects that idea.

“Now it is up to Congress to act on the Harriet Tubman Tribute Bill that is presently before the House Financial Services Committee, to compel the Treasury Department to accelerate the timetable and at the very least show us a Tubman bill design in time for the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020,” Stone said. “As we’ve been saying for years, symbols do matter.”

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Federal authorities have arrested a U.S. Army soldier accused of sharing information on how to build explosives online and suggesting attacks against activists, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke and a major news network. >> Read more trending news  Authorities arrested Jarrett William Smith, 24, on suspicion of distribution of information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. Smith joined the U.S. Army on June 12, 2017, and most recently served as a private first class based in Fort Riley, Kansas, investigators said. Officials with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force opened an investigation into Smith in March after receiving a tip about his Facebook page. In an affidavit filed in court, FBI Special Agent Brandon LaMar said Smith shared information on constructing improvised explosive devices in several group chats and spoke about his interest in traveling to Ukraine to fight with a far-right paramilitary group called Azov Battalion. LaMar said authorities uncovered connections between Smith and Craig Lang, a man who traveled to Ukraine to fight from 2017 to 2019 with Right Sector, a group described as similar to Azov Battalion. Facebook communications showed Lang was mentoring Smith as he prepared to join the fighting in Ukraine, authorities said. Smith also spoke about carrying out an attack on the United States, authorities said. He discussed the plans in August with an unidentified, confidential source. 'Smith talked with the (confidential source) about killing members of the far left group, Antifa, as well as destroying nearby cell towers or (the) local news station,' LaMar wrote. Days later, Smith suggested an unidentified major news network would be a good target for a 'large vehicle bomb,' LaMar said. On Friday, Smith shared instructions for creating several explosive devices during a chat with an undercover agent who claimed to be targeting an unnamed Texas politician. 'You got anyone down in Texas that would be a good fit for fire, destruction and death?' the undercover agent asked Smith, according to a transcript shared by LaMar. 'Outside of Beto?' Smith replied, according to LaMar. 'I don't know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died.' LaMar said Smith admitted to sharing details for creating IEDs in online chat rooms and that he claimed he did so 'to cause 'chaos.'' 'He told me that if chaos results in the death of people, even through information he provided, it doesn't affect him,' LaMar said.
  • The Florida Department of Health is urging people to avoid a west Orange County lake because of blue green algae. DOH-Orange Environmental Health staff posted signs around Lake Olivia near Gotha warning people to stay out of the water because of the presence of Microcystin Toxin. The toxin was first detected in surface water samples taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Blue green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) can grow in many of Florida’s waterbodies. Large concentration, called blooms can change the water color to blue, green, brown, orange or red. Blooms can appear year-round but are more frequent in summer and fall. Blue green algae can grow rapidly and sometimes form a foamy surface scum and an unpleasant odor. Because algae blooms can remove oxygen from the water, fish kills can occur. The health department says people should avoid all contact with the water. Don’t swallow, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there are algae blooms. Algae blooms can cause ear, eye and skin reactions and hay fever and flu-like symptoms like diarrhea. Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae, discolored or smelly water. The Health Alert will remain in place until further notice.
  • Chicago police have captured a man suspected of nearly killing an officer over the weekend, three days after he is accused of shooting a 28-year-old woman in the back as he rode a bicycle near downtown. Michael Blackman, 45, was in critical condition Sunday after he was shot during an armed confrontation with police, authorities said Sunday. As of Monday morning, he had been charged with four counts of attempted murder, according to Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department. A news conference was slated for later Monday to provide more details, but a time had not been set.  Blackman was captured Saturday afternoon, several hours after he allegedly shot a 40-year-old police officer on Chicago’s South Side. Chicago Deputy Police Chief Brendan Deenihan said Blackman was caught after investigators who were canvassing the Englewood community, where the officer’s shooting took place, obtained surveillance footage that showed Blackman fleeing through a vacant lot several blocks away. The footage did not show him leave the lot. Detectives and patrol officers descended upon the area, Deenihan said. “When they went to go search that lot, this defendant popped up,” Deenihan said. “This is when the gun battle ensued between the defendant and the officers.” Blackman ran over some railroad tracks, where he encountered more officers. Additional shots were fired, and Blackman was struck multiple times. “He has eight holes in him at this time and a broken femur,” Deenihan said. Watch Deputy Police Chief Brendan Deenihan talk about the shooting and capture of Michael Blackman below.  Blackman was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, the same hospital where the officer he is accused of shooting was rushed earlier that morning. No officers were injured in the second encounter with Blackman, Deenihan said. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a news conference Saturday that the 16-year veteran officer who was shot serves on the department’s fugitive apprehension team. The team, which was looking for Blackman in connection with Wednesday’s bicycle shooting, went shortly after 8:30 a.m. that morning to a home in the 1900 block of West 65th Street, where Blackman was believed to be hiding, Johnson said. >> Read more trending news  When members of the team knocked on the door, Blackman ran out the back of the house, where the injured officer and his partner were stationed, Johnson said. “At that time, a physical struggle ensued, followed by an armed confrontation,” Johnson said. The unnamed officer was shot in the groin and in the lower leg, doctors said. Fellow officers loaded him into a patrol car and rushed him to the hospital, where he underwent surgery. He was in stable condition Saturday afternoon. “It is reported that the injured officer had the self-awareness to apply his own tourniquet, as his partner maintained pressure on the gunshot wound on the way to the hospital,” the superintendent said. Guglielmi tweeted that the officer lost nearly a third of his blood volume. “He came basically bleeding to death,” trauma surgeon Dr. Jane Kayle Lee said during Saturday’s news conference. “He had already lost a significant amount of blood and was taken emergently to the operating room for surgery.” Lee said the officer had a hole in one of the largest veins in his leg. She was able to repair the injury. The surgeon said the bullet to the officer’s groin remains in his body. The gunshot to his leg was a “through-and-through” wound, with both an entrance and exit wound. The officer suffered significant fractures to his leg when that bullet tore through his body, Lee said. His leg was splinted for the time being, but he will need additional surgery. “I do expect that he will have a good recovery,” Lee said. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who met with the man’s family at the hospital, said the shooting is a reminder of the sacrifice police officers make every day to protect the city’s residents. She also praised the work of the officer’s colleagues in the fugitive apprehension unit. “Their quick work saved this officer’s life,” Lightfoot said. She asked the public to pray for the officer’s full recovery. “I ask that all Chicagoans continue praying for the officer and his family throughout his recovery,” Lightfoot said at the news conference. “Also, keep all of our first responders in our thoughts and prayers because, as the superintendent said, and we see on a daily basis, they run to danger to protect us.” Like the officer, the woman Blackman is accused of shooting on Wednesday is expected to survive. According to The Chicago Tribune, the woman was headed to lunch with co-workers around noon in the city’s Fulton Market District when she was shot by a man on a bicycle. Watch police and city officials, along with medical personnel, speak below about the Saturday shooting of a Chicago police officer.  “Based on the information we have right now, the shooter passed by a group of individuals and went directly to her to extend his arm and fire one single gunshot,” Johnson said at the time, according to the Tribune. “Appears right now the victim may have been targeted by the offender.” As the gunman fled the scene, the woman was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious to critical condition, the newspaper said. Her condition was unknown Monday. Police officials released still images and video the day of the shooting that showed the alleged gunman riding his bicycle near the scene of the shooting. Guglielmi tweeted Friday that detectives had been given a tip to go to a bicycle shop, where they discovered security footage that showed a man fitting the description of the shooter getting his bike fixed about an hour before the woman was shot. The clearer images, which show a man later identified by police as Blackman, offer a full view of the man’s face as he stands at the counter. At one point, he takes off his black Nike baseball cap and wipes his head with paper towels. He is seen standing and chatting with the employee working on his bike and leaning on the counter, his wallet out, as he pays his bill. The man smiles several times as he talks to the worker. Blackman was identified as a suspect in Wednesday’s shooting based in part on the images from the bike shop, Johnson said. His motive in the woman's shooting was unknown as of Saturday. The superintendent declined to speculate on Blackman’s state of mind but pointed out that he was accused of shooting two people, including a police officer. “Obviously, this is not a person that should be walking the streets of Chicago,” Johnson said Saturday while Blackman was still at large. “He’s a dangerous individual. There’s no hiding that.” Blackman has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1991, Johnson said Saturday. His previous charges range from burglary and domestic battery to drug charges. He remained hospitalized in police custody Monday morning.
  • A Michigan toddler died last week after authorities said her head became stuck in a car's power window in Detroit. >> Read more trending news  According to WXYZ-TV, Kierre Allen, 2, was inside the parked 2005 Mazda 3 with her father, who had fallen asleep, last Monday when the window somehow closed on her head, authorities said. The 21-year-old man awoke to find the child caught in the window, he told police. Kierre's uncle took the pair to a nearby hospital as the father tried to revive the girl, WJBK-TV reported. Doctors said she was dead when she arrived. Police arrested the girl's father, who had outstanding traffic warrants, authorities said. He has not been charged in connection with Kierre's death, the Detroit News reported.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Florida is searching for Patrick Felton, 38, in reference to an Amber Alert regarding the whereabouts of a 13-year-old boy.  The boy has been located, but Felton has not yet been found by authorities. On Saturday night, police were called after Felton allegedly got into a fight with the boy's mother. Felton dropped her off at Baptist North Medical Campus, located at 11250 Baptist Health Drive, authorities said. Felton would not let the boy get out of the vehicle and drove off with him, authorities said. The boy's mother reportedly called the suspect, demanding he return the 13-year-old. Felton confirmed he had the boy and hung up the phone, police said. Felton would no longer answer his phone, but police were able to locate his abandoned car on Redpoll Avenue, authorities said. They later found the boy, but not Felton. Records show Felton has a lengthy criminal history, including carjacking with a deadly weapon, for which he served 20 years. He was released from prison in January 2019, then he violated his parole, got arrested and was released again in August 2019.  Now, JSO is looking for him concerning his alleged involvement in this abduction.  Anyone with information about Felton's whereabouts should contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a possible reward if your tip leads to an arrest, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Washington Insider

  • Continuing to attack a whistleblower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community who has evidently raised serious questions about actions of the Executive, President Donald Trump on Monday all but said the unidentified official was betraying his government. 'Is he on our Country's side,' the President asked about the worker in the U.S. Intelligence Community. On Twitter, President Trump accused the unknown person of not knowing 'the correct facts' about Mr. Trump's conversations with the leader of Ukraine, as Democrats demanded that Republicans speak out about the matter. 'The Republican Senate’s “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude toward such a serious national security concern is unacceptable and must change,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. In New York, President Trump said the matter wasn't worrying him. Democrats see it much differently - and are demanding answers. 'It's time for the Trump Administration to come clean,' said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). 'The administration needs to stop stonewalling and turn over the whistleblower complaint now, as required by law,' said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). 'If they refuse, President Trump should be impeached immediately,' DeGette added. Under federal law, the complaint from the unidentified whistleblower should have already been turned over to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees - but the Acting Director of National Intelligence has failed to do that. Current law does include the possibility where the whistleblower could go directly to the Congress with the information. Most Republicans in Congress have said little about the latest Trump controversy; one of the few was Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). 'If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme,' Romney wrote on Twitter.