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Congress OKs Tubman coins; will help fund Tubman Home

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  • Staff Report 

She’s still not on the 20-dollar bills, but the likeness of Underground Railroad Leader Harriet Tubman will soon be found on a series of commemorative coins.

Katko bill will lead to creation of Tubman half-dollar, one-dollar and five-dollar coins

The Citizen reports the US House of Representatives has passed a bill sponsored by Congressman John Katko that directs the Treasury Department to issue half-dollar and one-dollar silver coins, as well as five-dollar gold coins. The Senate approved the bill in February.

Tubman’s image will appear on the coins, along with the words  “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” “United States of America” and “E Pluribus Unum.” Officials at the Harriet Tubman Home will be consulted, along with other organizations, on the design of the coins. If the bill is signed by President Biden, the first Tubman coins will appear in 2024.

The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act directs that a portion of the money raised by sales of the coins will go to the Tubman Home, where Tubman first lived when she settled in Auburn. Some of the proceeds will also go to the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

“Today’s vote represents one of the most significant steps forward in strengthening federal recognition of the Harriet Tubman Home since its designation as a national park in 2017,” Katko said. “Specifically, I am pleased that the coins issued under this legislation, bearing Harriet Tubman’s likeness and symbolizing her legacy, will directly benefit preservation and education efforts at the Tubman Home in Auburn.” 

Related: Auburn’s Harriet Tubman landmark could see $4.75M in funds thanks to bill passed by U.S. Senate

Will Tubman ever appear on the 20-dollar bill?

Treasury officials say they still intend to put Tubman’s likeness on the 20-dollar bill at some point in the future. The proposal to replace President Andrew Jackson on the 20 was first announced by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew during the Obama administration.

Related: Katko calls on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin to give update on Harriet Tubman being on the 20 dollar bill