Flower

Posts Tagged ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’

The New 10: Which Woman’s Face Will Grace the New Bill?

In June of last year, the Obama administration announced that, in the year 2020, a woman will grace the front of the $10 bill. The redesign and unveiling will be in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States.

The question is…who will it be?

There are two requirements: the woman must be deceased, and she must exemplify the theme of “Democracy.”

There are many women who have deeply impacted this country and its history, and who fill the two above criteria. Selecting one woman to fill this extraordinarily symbolic role will be challenging. Which historic achievement will be highlighted, and which female innovator will be featured?

The Treasury Department has asked for help in the selection process. It launched a website, https://www.thenew10.treasury.gov/, that provides details of “the new 10” and has created a public discussion via the use of social media and #TheNew10 hashtag.

So let’s discuss. It is Women’s History Month, after all.

Susan B. Anthony (standing) consults with her long-time collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Though the picture is obviously posed, it captures something of their mutual trust and respect over many decades.

Susan B. Anthony (standing) consults with her long-time collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. [Library of Congress, Public Domain], via SIRS Knowledge Source

Perhaps, because the new $10 bill will be revealed on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, a woman who was integral to women’s suffrage will be chosen. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were both prominent leaders of the movement, cofounding the National Woman Suffrage Organization and working tirelessly for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. They contributed to the writing of The History of Woman Suffrage and were both passionate abolitionists. Anthony, however, has already appeared on U.S. currency: her portrait was featured on the $1 coin from 1979 to 1981.

Sacajawea already appears on the dollar coin (which is no longer in general circulation), but she deserves consideration. A Shoshone Native American, Sacajawea served as the interpreter for Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their 8,000-mile journey into the American West and to the Pacific Ocean. She was integral to their travels, and thus to the information and research that the explorers shared with the world.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman [Library of Congress, Public Domain], via SIRS Discoverer

The era of slavery is a dark one in American history but gave rise to extraordinarily strong and brave African American men and women who helped transform this country. Harriet Tubman, known as “the Moses of her people,” escaped slavery and was determined to help others do the same. She travelled the Underground Railroad many times after her escape, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom. Sojourner Truth also escaped slavery. She became a strident abolitionist and was the first female African American orator to protest slavery. Her speeches inspired people throughout the Northern and Midwestern states.

What about First Ladies? Some have affected noble and lasting changes, both politically and socially. Two come to mind: Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt. Adams was the nation’s second First Lady, wife of President John Adams. She never held political office, but took an active role in politics and national matters (including the Revolutionary War), was an early supporter of women’s rights, and had great influence on her husband. Her letters to him are full of her insightful observations. More than a century later, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt exerted tremendous political and cultural influence in her position as First Lady. She was an extremely vocal advocate for social causes, spreading her message by holding press conferences, hosting a radio show, and writing a daily newspaper column. Known as an activist for the rights of women, African Americans, and immigrants, she influenced her husband to embrace the civil rights agenda. Her humanitarian career continued after she left the White House: she served as a U.N. delegate for seven years and headed the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King jr. (ca. 1955) [USIA/National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group 306, Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century gave rise to many female activists. One, in particular, changed the national conversation about civil rights by taking a stand and sitting on a bus. Rosa Parks made a transformative decision on December 1, 1955. She violated Alabama’s bus segregation laws and refused to give her seat to a white man and was arrested. Considered the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, her act of courage inspired the Montgomery bus boycott and roused activists to nonviolent action across the country.

What about Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut in space? Or Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator who successfully completed a transatlantic flight? Or Margaret Sanger, who crusaded for women’s reproductive rights? Or Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross?

So whose face will grace the new 10? Do you have an opinion? If so, make your voice heard–whether it be to the Treasury Department, in the classroom, in the lunchroom, or around the dinner table. Each inspirational woman mentioned above, and all who will be considered for this tribute of currency portraiture, had strong voices and opinions that changed the world.

Learn more about these women, and find out details of the new 10, on SIRS Knowledge Source and SIRS Discoverer. While you’re there, check out the March SKS Spotlight of the Month on Women’s History Month.

Every Day Is Human Rights Day!

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10, commemorating the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first Human Rights Day was celebrated in 1950 to bring global recognition to the Declaration as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who is credited with its inspiration, referred to the Declaration as the “international Magna Carta for all mankind.” The theme for this year’s observance is Human Rights 365, which emphasizes that every day of the year should be Human Rights Day.

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lake Success, New York, 11/1949 [Public domain], via National Archives and Records Administration

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lake Success, New York, 11/1949 [Public domain], via National Archives and Records Administration

What Are Human Rights?

“Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.”–UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

SIRS Leading Issues: Human Rights via ProQuest SIRS Researcher

SIRS Leading Issues: Human Rights via ProQuest SIRS Researcher

Educators, you can make human rights the focus in your classroom every day throughout the year by turning to SIRS Issues Researcher’s Leading Issues feature. Spark debate and discussion by engaging students with Essential Questions that include answers and supporting pro/con viewpoint articles which are hand-selected by SIRS editors. Promote critical thinking skills and more in-depth analysis by exploring a topic overview, an interactive feature, a timeline, statistics and more. The “see also” section provides links to more information (including magazine and newspaper articles, government documents, primary sources, graphics and multimedia, reference materials, and websites) on related subjects such as child labor, ethnic relations, genocide, human trafficking, Holocaust denial, torture and more.

Every day really should be Human Rights Day, as the many facets of this issue have implications and significance for every person throughout the world.