Quiz: Who is on American currency?

Published: Monday, Aug. 5 2013 12:56 a.m. MDT


With the recent announcement that Sir Winston Churchill will be replacing influential social reformer Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note in 2016, women's advocacy groups in Great Britain expressed concern that no female characters, save the Queen, would be represented on the UK's currency.

To make up for the loss, The Bank of England announced last week that famed British author Jane Austen would be replacing Charles Darwin on the next £10 note, to be released in 2016.

The recent attention to historical figures honored on money has brought some to criticize America's lack of female faces circulated in our banks and businesses.

Although Susan B. Anthony was featured on a silver dollar from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999, that coin is no longer in wide circulation, leaving no female leaders on American bank notes or coinage.

But how much does being on American money really mean, anyway?

To many, it means quite a lot. Despite the lack of feminine representation, American currency has a long sought to represent the leaders who have shaped the country, immortalizing their portraits on bills and coins.

While most Americans are probably aware of the faces that grace the front of more common small bills, there are many bank notes that are either rare or out of circulation that have also been used to honor the memory of past leaders.

Do you know which presidents are represented on American currency?

Take the quiz here to find out.

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Provo, UT

American currency over the years featured all kinds of allegorical female figures. My two favorites came from the 1896 Silver Certificate Education series: "History Educating Youth" and "Science presents Electricity and Steam to Commerce and Manufacture" [which had obviously 5 female allegorical figures, 2 of them underage]. Two real women have appeared on 19th century American money -- one was Martha Washington and the other was -- brace yourselves -- Pocahontas being baptized.

Taylorsville, UT

Why would a woman want her face on such a worthless place as money?

Layton, UT

So unfair! John Adams should be on one of these. He was the Voice of the Revolution! (Why not put Abigail, his wife, next to each other, she also was awesome!)

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

As a very young boy in the 1960s I remember watching Monty Hall on "Let's Make a Deal" give out $1000 bills now and then. I never understood why the winners shrieked and screamed so much, but I just checked: $1000 in 1965 is worth $7412 today. I guess I would scream, too.

I teech two
Bountiful, UT

Shouldn't the headline be who's instead of whose? Just saying... Their are sum words that sound the same, but our spelled more then won weigh.

Cedar City, UT

Jackson on the $20 is ridiculous. Jackson was a proud racist, an "exterminator" of Native Americans, and detested any ethnic groups other than his own caucasian background. Jackson was also a wealthy slaveholder, protested the creation of a National bank and discouraged Americans from using paper money. He is also the Father of the National Debt.

If any bill needs a new face, it's the $20. Put MLK Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Marie Curie, etc. There are hundreds of notable American figures more worthy of the recognition than Jackson.

Dallas, TX

Has everyone so quickly forgotten the Sacagawea dollar coin?


@ TiCon2
I am sorry that you do not like Jackson. He had faults to be sure, as we all do, but he also had some redeeming qualities as well. I find it hard to fault him for being a wealthy slaveholder without also faulting Washington and Jefferson for the same. While he may have been a wealthy slaveholder he was the first truly populist president.
Now as to your suggestion for who should replace Jackson on the $20 bill. You state, "There are hundreds of notable American figures more worthy of the recognition than Jackson." Yet of the four that you name one, Marie Curie, was not an American. Marie Curie, née Maria Sklodowska, was born in Warsaw, Poland on November 7, 1867. She gained fame as a researcher and instructor at the Sorbonne in Paris, France and at the University of Paris, and as the co-recipient and recipient of two Nobel Prizes. She lived and worked in France and Poland. She died in Savoy, France, after a short illness, on July 4, 1934. She was never an American or a citizen of the United States of America.

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