Can the ‘Tubman Twenty’ Help Bring Americans Together?

The New Note Comes 125 Years After the Free Silver Movement Tried—And Failed—to Use Currency to Forge a National Identity

Momentum for the “Tubman Twenty” comes at a time when Americans are reexamining foundational values of equality and democracy. President Biden’s inaugural address urged national unity to heal political and social rifts, and his push to get the project—in the works since 2015 to replace Andrew Jackson’s portrait with Harriet Tubman’s on the $20 bill—back on track supposedly helps do just that.

This is not the first attempt to use currency to forge a national identity by commemorating a shared heritage. An earlier experiment 125 years ago attempted to do …

How a Public Railroad Saved Alaska | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How a Public Railroad Saved Alaska

Long Before Statehood, the Progressive Era Made the Last Frontier Possible

Alaska officially became a state in 1959, but its modern origins occurred in the two decades that followed the discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1896.

At the turn …

Want to Take My Civics Class? Get Ready to Squirm

Learning How America Works Should Be Hard on You, Not Just Good for You

In many conversations, the topic of civics education comes with its own halo. The conventional wisdom is that it’s good, clean medicine, and if our children just get enough of …