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VERIFY: That's not a hanged man on the $20 bill

A social media post claimed the $20 bill has a hanged man in a photo in front of the White House, but it's actually something very different.

Some social media users have taken issue with the back of the $20 bill. They claim the bill depicts a Black man being lynched in front of the White House with a crowd of white people watching below.

I was today years old when I found out the back of the $20 bill is a brother hanging while a whole crowd of people watch!

THE QUESTION

Is there a person shown on the back of the $20 bill being hanged?

THE ANSWER

No. The $20 bill shows a lantern in front of the White House.

WHAT WE FOUND

The U.S. Currency Education Program has a document online that shows a high-resolution version of the back of the 20 dollar bill.

That image of the White House is similar to photos taken of the White House’s North Portico taken by the Associated Press. There appears to be a lantern at the front of the building as well as some shrubbery on the lawn before it.

Credit: AP
The North Portico of the White House in Washington as seen on Friday, May 9, 2014. . (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

An article about White House lighting from the White House Historical Association confirms it’s a lantern. “Another well-known Caldwell light fixture, added to the White House North Portico in 1902, is a distinctive wrought iron and glass lantern,” the article says. Directly under that paragraph is another photo of the White House North Portico that shows a lantern and shrubbery.

The back of the $20 bill shows nothing different from other photos of the White House’s North Portico. It’s consistent with these photos in depicting a lantern rather than a hanging man and shrubbery rather than a crowd of people watching.

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