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The 20-dollar bill down through history - to July 20
Break out the cash - it's time to learn a little bit about the $20 bill before Yumans spend it at local businesses on July 20.
The campaign, sponsored by the Yuma Sun and local partners, encourages residents in Yuma County to spend $20 on July 20 to help jump-start the local economy.
But that familiar $20 bill hasn't always looked the same. In fact, it hasn't always had Andrew Jackson's famous face on it.
The first $20 bill didn't appear until 1861 as the United States struggled to raise money to fight the Civil War, said Douglas Mudd, with the American Numismatic Association and curator of the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum, America's largest museum dedicated to money.
Mudd said the new $20 notes replaced the $20 piece, which, along with all other federal coinage, disappeared from circulation as people hoarded their money during the war.
He said the first bills featured Lady Liberty, Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton. Different people appeared on them until the creation of the Federal Reserve Banking System in 1914, Mudd said. And one year later, he said. the first Federal Reserve Note featured President Grover Cleveland.
Jackson did not appear on the $20 bill until 1928.
The bill has undergone many changes in security in an attempt to help make it harder to counterfeit.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Web site, the $20 bill was the first to be redesigned in the Series 2004 currency.
The new bills included color-shifting ink, which can be seen by tilting the bill. There is also a watermark of Jackson's head that can be seen if the bill is held up to the light. According to the site, the redesign included the now familiar security thread, which has the words "USA TWENTY" on a strip through the bill and is visible when it is held up to the light.
The $20 bill has had a long journey to the bill used today and will most likely go through more changes in the future.
But for now, just make sure to have one ready for July 20 to help participate in $20 on the 20th.
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT THE NUMBER 20:
• The number 20 may also be referred to as a score - as in Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address.
• 20/20 indicates normal vision at 20 feet.
• It's the atomic number of calcium.
• Interstate 20 runs from Texas to South Carolina.
• 10-20 is a radio term used to denote location - as in, what's your 20?
$20 BILL ODDITIES:
According to Snopes.com, the $20 bill can be folded several times to reveal the twin towers burning the Sept. 11 attacks. Then, according to the Web site, when the folded bill is flipped over, it reveals the Pentagon building burning after another attack on Sept. 11.
There has also been some reports of $20 burning when microwaved. The reports say the burns are all in the same place: over one of Andrew Jackson's eye.
WHAT'S $20 ON THE 20th?
It's a fun, local economic stimulus plan. The idea is that local residents spend $20 they wouldn't have otherwise spent on local goods or services on July 20.
Stephanie A. Wilken can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6857.