Why not Martin Luther King on the $50 bill?

A congressman from North Carolina has introduced a bill to replace the face of Ulysses S. Grant with Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill.  The bill has 17 co-sponsors.  The bill probably won’t get anywhere, but the proposal keeps coming up.

U.S. Grant deserves to be honored. He not only led the Union army to victory in the Civil War but was second only to Abraham Lincoln and maybe Lyndon Johnson as a presidential supporter of human rights. Under his administration, federal troops guaranteed the right of black people in the South to vote, to own property and to enjoy other civil rights. This ended when he left office, and civil rights were not restored until the Kennedy-Johnson era.

But if you want to put a 20th century figure on the $50 bill, why not Martin Luther King Jr.? We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday, along with Washington’s and Lincoln’s.  Few Americans are more revered than Dr. King, either by their fellow citizens or by the world at large.

Click on this if you’re curious as to which historic Americans appear on which denomination dollar bills. 

Bills of $500 and above are no longer circulated.

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