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Keep up with news of Harriet Tubman and her homeland here on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway blog, or join the conversation at our Facebook page or on Twitter. Throughout 2013, we're commemorating 100 years since Harriet Tubman's passing. Find out about upcoming centennial events.
This week President Obama designated the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Dorchester County, Maryland! We welcome this long-awaited federal recognition of Harriet Tubman, who spent the first 27 or so years of her life in Dorchester.
So what does it mean to be a national monument? First, there won't be any actual stone or marble monument to visit. The national monument protects acres of land that are either related to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, or are evocative of the lands where she lived and worked and launched her journeys to freedom in the mid-1800s. What it means is that the National Park Service, which oversees the national monument, will be involved in sharing the story of Harriet and the Underground Railroad.
For visitors who want to see the lands where Harriet Tubman lived and hear the stories of her life, we suggest following the advice in a story from NBC News: "To explore the monument and its environs, cruise the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a 125-mile scenic drive."
This website is all about the Tubman Byway. Here you can explore more than 30 sites on Maryland's Eastern Shore that relate to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Stop by one site or stay a few days and explore more deeply. Learn more about the sites and plan your visit. One of the sites along the Byway, Joseph Stewart's Canal (pictured here), is part of the land protected by the national monument designation.
More good things are coming. In 2015, we hope to open the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park here in Dorchester County. Check back here for news as that project moves forward.
We look forward to welcoming you to Maryland's Eastern Shore, home of the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument. Harriet Tubman's story is one that we're proud and honored to share.
What a big weekend in Harriet Tubman's homeland on Maryland's Eastern Shore! On the weekend that marked 100 years since her passing on March 9, 1913, we shared stories of her remarkable courage as a freedom fighter, Civil War spy, and suffragist. We thought about the legacy she left us and how she still inspires so many of us today. We experienced places and events along the Underground Railroad in art and song. And we shared Harriet Tubman with the world. Hundreds of people, black and white, young and not-so-young, came from near and far to take part in the centennial commemoration. And that is how it should be. Because Harriet Tubman's determination, perseverance, and selflessness, the sacrifices she was willing to make to bring her loved ones to a better life, speak to all of us today. We want to thank all of you who shared in the weekend, either in person or in thought and prayer.
Here are some highlights from the weekend:
• New Tubman State Park: We broke ground on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park on March 9 with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, National Park Service director Jon Jarvis, and nearly 400 others. The state park, located a few miles outside of Cambridge, Maryland, is expected to be completed in 2015, and will include a 15,000-square-foot visitor center with exhibits and more. See the photos.
• Enhancing the Tubman Byway: We had a ribbon cutting for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a self-guided driving tour that's already been named one of the nation's best for its cultural and historical significance. We also unveiled the look of the new wayside signs that will help share the stories at sites along the Byway in Dorchester and Caroline Counties, Maryland. See the photos. Find out more about sites along the Byway.
• Launching the Quilt Trail: We unveiled the first of 15 "quilt blocks" of the Underground Railroad Quilt Trail. These depictions of quilt blocks will be installed on structures along the Byway in 2013 as part of the centennial commemoration. See the photos.
• Updating the Byway guide: We shared the updated guide for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. To get a copy of the free guide, contact the Dorchester County Visitor Center at
, or 410.228.1000 or 800.522.8687. Or stop by at 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge, Maryland.
• And the world watched. We saw media coverage from National Public Radio to the Washington Post and beyond. See the list and read/listen to the coverage.
The Harriet Tubman Centennial Weekend begins March 8 in Harriet's homeland on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The weekend, which commemorates 100 years since her passing on March 10, 1913, is chock full of special events.
If you can't make it to the events, you can still stop by the Harriet Tubman Museum in downtown Cambridge, Maryland (424 Race Street) on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the museum will be open from 12-9pm. The evening, starting at 5pm, is downtown Cambridge's monthly Second Saturday, when shops and galleries stay open late. (More info at CambridgeMainStreet.com.) You can also explore the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a self-guided driving tour, by stopping by the Dorchester Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge, for a map and guide.
The Harriet Tubman Centennial Weekend includes:
For details on all these events, see the calendar.
Twitter Ticket Giveaway for Harriet Tubman Centennial jazz show with Marcus Shelby on March 10!
We are giving away two tickets through Twitter to each lucky winner to the Harriet Tubman Centennial Jazz Concert on March 10 in Cambridge, Maryland. Acclaimed jazz musician Marcus Shelby and his quartet will share Tubman's story through jazz music.
HOW TO ENTER THE TUBMAN TWITTER TICKET GIVEAWAY:
Follow @Tubman_Byway on Twitter (you need to have a Twitter account to enter. Click here to follow the Tubman Byway's Twitter feed.)
Tweet this message exactly:
Follow @Tubman_Byway and retweet to WIN 2 tickets to #HarrietTubman Centennial jazz show with Marcus Shelby 3/10 - bit.ly/YssJw6
We will randomly select the winners and let the winners know through Twitter. You only need to retweet this offer once to enter.
What is the prize?
Two free tickets to the Harriet Tubman Centennial Jazz Concert at 2pm, Sunday, March 10, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland. Pick up tickets at will call at the show. Your name and some form of ID will be required for pickup. If you win, you will be asked to provide your name via direct message.
How long is the giveaway going on?
Now through 5pm, March 6, 2013.
How can I purchase tickets to the concert if I don’t win?
Find more information and a link to purchase tickets here.
I have a question that wasn’t answered here…how do I find out the answer?
A billboard in Cambridge, Maryland, a few miles from the place where Harriet Tubman was born, grew up, and started her journeys to freedom, has Harriet Tubman's name in lights. Why? To share the word that March 10, 2013 marks 100 years exactly since her passing. (We don't know when exactly she was born.) To commemorate the centennial, her homeland has planned events for the March 8-10 weekend, including:
• An art exhibit by an artist who's spent the past 10 years researching Tubman and the Underground Railroad
• A nature walk with a Underground Railroad expert talking about how Tubman's outdoor skills were key to her escapes
• The Harriet Tubman Banquet, a benefit for the volunteer-run Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge
• A jazz performance that shares Tubman's story—created by a musician who was inspired by how Tubman used song to relay messages as she led journeys to freedom.
All events are open to the public. Click here for details.
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