Let’s imagine for a moment that the Centauri finally show up in orbit, and in a spate of uncharacteristically enigmatic minimalistic interventionism, make no changes other than to threaten to use their Mass drivers on Earth unless the United States chooses to replace the Presidents and politicians on paper money with non-political figures.
Who would you put on the bills?
Just tossing this out there for thought, not spending much time on it:
$1… Louis Armstrong
$5… Orville & Wilbur Wright
$10… Jonas Salk
$20… Harriet Tubman
$100… Mark Twain
Non-U.S. Dopers, feel free to replace the “U.S.” with your own country as you want to.
$1: Mark Twain
$2: Pete Seeger, why not
$5: Martin Luther King Jr.
$10: Neil Armstrong
$20: Let’s go with the poll and put Harriet Tubman on the $20
$50: Albert Einstein, our most valuable immigrant?
$100: I agree keep Franklin on the $100.
$1 Is a coin, and I’ll keep the loon.
$2 Is a coin, and I’ll keep the polar bear
$5 Wayne Gretzky (Arguably the best hockey player ever)
$10 Sir Alexander Fleming (Discoverer of penicillin as an antibiotic)
$20 Sir Frederick Banting (Discoverer of insulin as a treatment for diabetes)
$50 Tommy Douglas (Father of universal healthcare, and grandfather of Kiefer Sutherland)
$100 Terry Fox (Cancer patient whose name is synonymous with cancer fundraising worldwide)
$1: Statue of Liberty
$2: We take this opportunity to get rid of this useless note.
$10: Norman Borlaug
$20: Apollo 11 Rocket (putting only the astronauts on the note seems to slight the effort of all the scientists and engineers)
$50: Frederick Douglass. Maybe Twain. Or Louis Armstrong. Hell, I don’t know. When was the last time you saw a 50 anyway?
$100: Lewis and Clark
This is a tough exercise. Trying to pick six Presidents out of 44 is easier than six people/images out of a vast number of iconic nonpolitical figures. I could easily be swayed from any of my picks.
Just a reminder: Not only was Franklin not a President, but Hamilton ($10 bill) wasn’t either (shot in a duel by Aaron Burr)…
I would still specify that the person absolutely **must **be deceased. And have been dead for at least a generation. Having living (and recently living) people’s images on current documents reeks of forced idolatry.
Franklin was so much more than a politician. I will nominate him to keep his place as the first great American Scientist/Inventor, leading writer and publisher, self-made businessman and generally the most world-famous colonial American.
I would put a nude picture of Eleanor Roosevelt on the $1 to encourage the move to a cashless economy.
For all the other denominations, have a lottery where the entrance fee is the same as the denomination - $5 for the fiver, $10 for the ten, etc. Winner gets to pick for that denomination for bills printed over the next year. Enter as often as you like.
I am too cheap to enter, but if I won by accident or something -
$5 - Sally Ride
$10 - Thomas Edison
$20 - Whoever is on the Ten Most Wanted list, so his face would be familiar to everyone and he would be arrested sooner
$50 - public service announcements to spay or neuter your pet
$100 - Rin Tin Tin
Edgar Allan Poe is famous for going through cycles in terms of literary respect. His stock has been flat for a long time now, maybe 60 years. My daughter went through Stuyvesant High, Yale, and the University of Chicago without reading “Annabel Lee,” let alone any of the tales – either assigned or for funsies. For a writer of that era, Melville or Hawthorne would be an easier sell.
I thought about visual artists, but had a tough time coming up with one of the proper stature. My first pick would be Augustus St. Gaudens, but he was born in Ireland.