Martin Luther King, Jr. To Be Honored On Back Of $5 Bill


Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. will soon be joining former president Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill.

Secretary Jacob L. Lew, the head of the U.S. Department of Treasury,  announced the change to the $5 bill April 20 in an open letter. The bill will now feature Lincoln on the front, while Martin Luther King, Jr., Opera singer Marian Anderson, and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt will appear on the back.

Their images will be portrayed in historical moments that took place at the Lincoln Memorial. King will be seen giving his “I Have a Dream” speech.  Anderson will be portrayed in a performance for civil rights that was supported by Roosevelt, which took place when Washington’s concert halls were still segregated.

"Honoring these figures will bring to life events at the Lincoln Memorial that helped to shape our history and our democracy," Lew wrote.

This will be the only change that has occurred to the $5 bill’s layout since 1929, the Washington Examiner notes.

Lew also announced changes to the $20 and $10 bills.

The $20 bill will now feature Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist who was part of the Underground Railroad. Former president Andrew Jackson, who is currently on the front of the $20 bill, will be featured on the back, along with a picture of the White House.

The $10 bill will continue to display Alexander Hamilton, the country’s first Treasury Secretary and creator of our economic system, on the front, but its reverse side will now honor some of those involved in the women’s suffrage movement.

The newly designed $10 note will go into circulation first, followed by the $20 and $5 bills.

Lew did not provide an exact date as to when the bills will be available, but noted that the department’s goal is to have them go into circulation as quickly as possible.

Sources: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington Examiner / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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