Lifestyle

Harriet Tubman remembered on 170th anniversary of self-liberation

Maryland native helped lead slaves to freedom

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - This week marks the 170th anniversary of Harriet Tubman's self-liberation from her enslavement.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed September as International Underground Railroad Month. Tubman, one of the most successful Underground Railroad conductors, was born on the state's Eastern Shore.

Standing at just five feet tall, she was considered a giant by many.

"She made choices that had a positive impact on our nation that really changed the world," said Dana Paterra, park manager.

Born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland, she personally led 70 slaves to freedom.

"Harriet Tubman is a person that we should admire and emulate," Paterra said.

She would go on to be a scout, spy and nurse in the Civil war and a fighter for women's rights.

"Her desire to see all things equal in justice is incredible," Paterra said.

Surrounded by the landscape she grew up on, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitors Center gives you a look at her life.

"It's just something that everyone should know about, it doesn't matter if you're black, white, Chinese or whatever color. It's just history," said Barbra Pinder, of Hurlock, Md.

"By going through here, and seeing all the interactive displays and stuff, it was a fabulous insight into her life," said Joe Jopek, from Antigo, Wisconsin.

The park is a great jumping-off point to explore Maryland Underground Railroad history. There are 83 Network to Freedom sites in the state, with more on the way.

"We have more national Underground Railroad Network to Freedom members or sites in Maryland than any other state in the country," said Marci Ross, with the Maryland Office of Tourism.

You can visit many of those sits on driving tours throughout the state. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center is open seven days a week.

This weekend, they also have some special events planned, including a reenactment of Harriet Tubman's life.


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