Ultimately, it's up to the Treasury Department to decide which woman should be the first to grace U.S. paper currency.
Their only requirements are that 1) that the candidate is a woman 2) who is dead and 3) resembles the bill's theme of "democracy."
So... that doesn't really narrow the field -- at all.
The good thing is, the Obama administration says it will listen to our ideas for which woman should go on the $10 bill. We took that as a cue to give them ours.
Here's our list, pulled from a viral campaign this spring to get a Woman on the $20 bill, a Washington Post reader poll that went up today and from our own brains. We hereby formally submit them to the Treasury for consideration.
There are three iconic women who automatically top anyone's list
- Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous abolitionists of her time for her journeys on the Underground Railroad. She won the Women on the $20 campaign nomination.
- Rosa Parks, the iconic civil rights activist
- Susan B. Anthony, women's suffrage movement leader who was on the $1 coin until 1981
But there are plenty of other civil rights activists and women suffrage leaders who should also be considered
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an early women's rights activist and abolitionist
- Sojourner Truth, a black women's rights activist and abolitionist
- Fannie Lou Hamer, suffrage and civil rights activist
- Alice Paul, suffrage leader
And how about these pioneering scientists
- Sally Ride, the first American woman in space
- Annie Jump Cannon, who created a system to classify stars that astronomers use today
- Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
These are America's first ladies who should make the short list
- Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights activist and wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She is leading in a Wonkblog reader poll for the honor.
- Betty Ford, the wife of Gerald Ford whose honesty about her addictions helped make drug treatment more socially acceptable
- Abigail Adams, the nation's second first lady, was really the first to take an active role in politics and policy
Speaking of politics, these women were the first of their kinds
- Frances Perkins, FDR's secretary of labor and the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet
- Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress
- Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to the House of Representatives, and the first Asian American elected to Congress
- Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman elected to both chambers of Congress
- Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress
- Barbara Jordan, a politician who was the first black woman in the South to be elected to the House of Representatives
- Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of Cherokee Nation
And outside of Washington, there are some pretty amazing women we'd like to draw the government's attention to
- Emma Lazarus, the author of the poem on the Statue of Liberty
- Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts
- Jane Addams, a Nobel Prize winner and an important figure in the “settlement house” movement that gave rise to the country’s social safety net
- Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross
- Betsy Ross, who made the first American flag in 1776
- Hellen Keller, the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor's degree. Keller is on the 2003 Alabama quarter.
- Sacagawea, a key figure in the Lewis and Clark expedition who also had a stint on the $1 coin
These authors and playwrights are awesome too
- Betty Friedan, feminist author of the Feminine Mystique
- Rachel Carson, a marine biologist who wrote the hugely influential environmental book Silent Spring
- Maya Angelou, famed poet and civil rights activists
- Alice Childress, an award-winning African-American playwright
And here are some more outside-the-box picks we think should be considered
- Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged who retains huge influence on the modern-day libertarian movement
- Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. and is considered the founder of Planned Parenthood
OK, love/hate our ideas? Who'd we miss? The comments section awaits.
[This post has been updated with even more great women. Thanks, readers!]
Abigail Ohlheiser contributed to this report.