MR. RUBENSTEIN: OK. But on the question of whether you would still have Harriet Tubman or things —
SEC. MNUCHIN: We haven't made any decisions as to whether we'll change the bill, or we won't change the bill in terms of that. But, again, our – the money has been a – the money has been a certain way for a long period of time. And we'll look at whether we change it or not.
Evidently Mnuchin’s thinking since then hasn’t changed, so it appears that the Tubman bill is off the table for now.
Canadians last week celebrated the new Viola Desmond ten, which goes into circulation next year. It is the first regularly circulated bill to feature an African-Canadian, as well as the first in a vertical format, the government said.
While traveling through New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, in 1946, Desmond's car broke down. While it was being repaired she decided to see a movie to kill some time, according to an account in the Guardian.
Like Southern theaters of the day, the New Glasgow theater was segregated, with whites on the main floor and blacks in the balcony. But Desmond was near-sighted and asked for a ticket on the main floor. When she was turned down, she took a seat in the whites-only section anyway. According to the Toronto Star, she was arrested, jailed for 12 hours and fined.
The Star quoted a Dalhousie University instructor as saying that Desmond was a great choice for the currency honor.
“Viola Desmond carried out a singular act of courage,” Isaac Saney said. “There was no movement behind her, she was ahead of the times.”
Canadians are quick to point out that Desmond’s act of protest occurred nearly a decade before Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to move to the back of a city bus.
Saney told the Star, "We know more about Rosa Parks than Viola Desmond. We know more about Martin Luther King than perhaps we know about W.P. Oliver." This was a reference to Dr. William Pearly Oliver, a social justice and education advocate in the 20th century.