Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew proposed to President Barack Obama last year that Susan B. Anthony replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill and that the penny be stopped because of its ever-decreasing value, according to a memo disclosed Tuesday.
Lew, however, decided to open the $10 bill effort to the public to spotlight women's contributions and — leading to a high-profile Internet and social-media campaign, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The secretary's plans were outlined in a March 2015 memo that was disclosed for the first time on Tuesday.
The $10 bill effort, called "The New 10," has brought strong protests from those supporting Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first Treasury secretary, the Journal reports. Another campaign had pushed to replace President Andrew Jackson with a woman on the $20 bill.
The Treasury Department considered the $10 bill because of security upgrades to the nation's currency that will take effect in 2020, the centennial of women's suffrage, according to the report.
In 2008, a federal court order that features be added to aid the blind and visually impaired.
Anthony, a Quaker who died in 1906 at age 86, was an abolitionist who became a leader in women's rights in 1854. She co-founded the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1869.
Her face is on a $1 coin that was produced from 1979 until 1981 and in 1999, the Journal reports. Hamilton has been on the $10 bill since 1928.
Lew has not announced any plans to suspend the production of the penny, the Journal reports.
"We've been looking at the penny for a long time, because obviously the value of a penny has gotten smaller and smaller as time has gone on," he said at a forum in November, according to the report. "Even with low inflation, it continues to diminish."
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