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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Governor Hogan Proclaims 2022 as “The Year of Harriet Tubman” in Maryland

Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s Birth, Fifth Anniversary of Opening of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center

   Annapolis— Governor Larry Hogan has officially proclaimed 2022 as “The Year of Harriet Tubman” in Maryland as the state celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s most renowned freedom fighter. The governor announced the designation at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center in Church Creek as the kick-off to a full weekend of 200th birthday events celebrating the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad. 

 Governor Larry Hogan signs oversized birthday card commemorating Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday while First Lady Yumi looks on.
Photo Credit: Paris Brown 

   “I want to encourage all Marylanders to take time this year to come here to visit Dorchester County, to travel the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway, to visit the countless immersive exhibits, which cover every period of Harriet Tubman’s life from slavery to freedom, or to come see the amazing artifacts from the Ben Ross cabin site, which was confirmed just last fall to have been the home of Harriet Tubman’s father,” said Governor Hogan. “It is truly inspiring to think about how we can walk along the same path she did, where she forged her indelible legacy of freedom.”

Millicent Sparks, playing the role of Harriet Tubman, performs a living history interpretation of the “Freedom Fighter” as part of the opening ceremony.
Photo Credit: Paris Brown 

   The weekend of March 12, 2022 marked the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, which is co-managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Park Service, and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. Since opening in 2017, the park has welcomed more than 300,000 guests from nearly 70 countries— despite a lengthy closure and limited capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those visitors, more than 18,000 youngsters have been sworn in as Harriet Tubman State Park Junior Rangers, following activities that teach about Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy, and the importance of the Underground Railroad.

 Cierra Maszkiewicz, Park Ranger for the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, and her mother Theresa Rodgers excited about Tubman’s 200th  Year-long Celebration.
Photo Credit: Paris Brown 

   “This bicentennial year is a perfect time for people to experience Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy by touring the byway and visiting our 17-acre state park and visitors center,” said Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “Throughout ‘The Year of Harriet Tubman,’ the park will offer programs and immersive experiences about Harriet Tubman’s life, surrounded by the landscape that looks much like it did during her time.” 

   As the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, Maryland is uniquely positioned to celebrate her lifelong achievements and provide visitors and residents places to learn more about Harriet Tubman, her life, and the Underground Railroad. Her stories are told at destinations across Maryland through attractions, special events, curated exhibits, and driving tours.

 Millicent Sparks, playing Harriet Tubman, Governor Larry Hogan, and Tina Wyatt, the great, great great nice of Harriet Tubman accepts a proclamation from the Governor Hogan on behalf of the Tubman Family.
Photo Credit: Paris Brown 

   “Maryland’s Eastern Shore was named in two prestigious travel magazines—National Geographic World Best Places to Travel in 2022 and Fodor’s Best Places of 2022—because of our history, heritage, and connection with Harriet Tubman,” said Secretary Mike Gill of the Maryland Department of Commerce. “I personally encourage everyone to celebrate Tubman’s extraordinary life by traveling in her footsteps, especially along the Tubman Byway.”

The Honorable Lajan Cephas, Council President, City of Cambridge 2nd Ward Commissioner welcomed visitors to Cambridge and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center.
Photo Credit: Paris Brown 

The 125-mile-long Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad All-American Road Scenic Byway, which traverses a living land-and-waterscape similar to what Tubman would have experienced in her lifetime, serves as the perfect vehicle for exploration.

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