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Friday 10 March 2017

Harriet Tubman Day

In 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that the countenance of Harriet Tubman will appear on a new $20 bill.
Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross. She would later adopt the name "Harriet" after her mother: Harriet Ross. The surname Tubman comes from her first husband, John Tubman, who she married in 1844.
Harriet was born a slave and raised on Maryland’s Eastern Shore where the lines between slavery and freedom were often blurred. It was not unusual for families in this area to include both free and enslaved members. Harriet’s own husband, John Tubman was a free black man. Her status, however, remained unchanged until she fled to Pennsylvania – a free state – in 1849. Her husband did not make the journey and ultimately re-married after Harriet’s departure. Harriet would return to Maryland many times over the next decade to rescue both family and non-famly members from the bondages of slavery.
Tubman’s work was a constant threat to her own freedom and safety. Slave holders placed a bounty for her capture and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was an ever-present danger, imposing severe punishments on any person who assisted the escape of a slave. Harriet earned the nickname "Moses" after the prophet Moses in the Bible who led his people to freedom. In all of her journeys she "never lost a single passenger."
Harriet Tubman Day is an American holiday in honor of the anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman, observed on March 10 nationally and in the U.S. state of New York. Observances also occur locally around the U.S. state of Maryland.
The holiday was approved as Public Law 101-252 by the 101st Congress in a joint resolution on March 13, 1990. The law was considered and passed by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 1990 and then was considered and passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on March 7, 1990. U.S. President George H. W. Bush gave Proclamation 6107 on March 9, 1990 proclaiming the holiday.
In February 1995, Christ Episcopal Church, Great Choptank Parish, in Cambridge, Maryland celebrated (via a "service of song and word") Tubman’s nomination, the previous year, to the liturgical Calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church. The parish is the home of Dorchester County’s Harriet Tubman Coalition. Final approval of naming her a saint occurred at the 1997 General Convention, and Tubman is now commemorated together with Amelia Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth in the calendar of saints of the Episcopal Church on July 20. The calendar of saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America remembers Tubman and Truth on March 10.
Proclamation 6107 - Harriet Tubman Day, March 9, 1990:
In celebrating Harriet Tubman’s life, we remember her commitment to freedom and rededicate ourselves to the timeless principles she struggled to uphold. Her story is one of extraordinary courage and effectiveness in the movement to abolish slavery and to advance the noble ideals enshrined in our Nation’s Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
After escaping from slavery herself in 1849, Harriet Tubman led hundreds of slaves to freedom by making a reported 19 trips through the network of hiding places known as the Underground Railroad. For her efforts to help ensure that our Nation always honors its promise of liberty and opportunity for all, she became know as the "Moses of her People."
Serving as a nurse, scout, cook, and spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, Harriet Tubman often risked her own freedom and safety to protect that of others. After the war, she continued working for justice and for the cause of human dignity. Today we are deeply thankful for the efforts of this brave and selfless woman -- they have been a source of inspiration to generations of Americans.
In recognition of Harriet Tubman’s special place in the hearts of all who cherish freedom, the Congress has passed Senate Joint Resolution 257 in observance of "Harriet Tubman Day," March 10, 1990, the 77th anniversary of her death.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 10, 1990, as Harriet Tubman Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities...
Source: wikipedia.org | ucsb.edu | pbs.org
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