King Center 'humbled' by decision to put MLK on $5 bill

ATLANTA — King Center officials say they are proud and humbled that Martin Luther King Jr.’s photo has been chosen to be on the back of the new $5 bill.

The U.S. Treasury announced changes to the $20, $10 and $5 bills last week.

The new $5 bill will keep President Abraham Lincoln’s picture on the front, but the back will now highlight historic events at the Lincoln Memorial, featuring images of renowned opera singer Marian Anderson, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr.

"He's a hero to everyone," said Kristie Cain Raymer with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

“Juxtaposing Dr. King's image and other iconic voices of freedom on one side with President Abraham Lincoln on the other poignantly symbolizes the connection between the promise of a nation, the fulfillment of that promise and the never-ending generational struggle to reach our promise,” Dr. Bernice King said in a statement Tuesday.

She called it a “historical turning point in American and the world” that the legacies of such iconic and important figures will now be memorialized on currency.

The civil rights icon graduated from Morehouse College in 1948, 15 years before the historic march on Washington.  %



Channel 2’s Rikki Klaus asked the college’s president, John Silvanus, his thoughts on the new $5 bill.

"The college is very proud of Dr. Martin Luther King always,” Silvanus said. "It's an honor to see his name on currency, but really we're working very hard to bring more currency in this nation and in this world for his values, his ideals and his principles."

The $10 and $20 bills will also undergo changes. The $10 bill celebrate the history of the woman's suffrage movement. The new $20 bill will feature a picture of Harriet Tubman, the first female to be on U.S. paper currency in 100 years.

"It's also symbolic of the evolution of our country that we're honoring these new heroes that new generations will know and understand,” said Morehouse College student Johnathan Hill.

Dr. Bernice King also said she is very proud of her father. The new bills are expected to be put into circulation in 2020.