VIDEO | 2022 Declared “The Year of Harriet Tubman” In Maryland

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2022 is “The Year of Harriet Tubman” in Maryland, as proclaimed by Governor Larry Hogan. The state is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the renowned freedom fighter on the Eastern Shore.

Many activities and exhibitions are being coordinated by the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitors Center, which has welcomed more than 300,000 guests from nearly 70 countries over its five years.

“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,” Hogan said. “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.”

“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,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “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.” 

“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,” Maryland Department of commerce Secretary Mike Gill said. “I personally encourage everyone to celebrate Tubman’s extraordinary life by traveling in her footsteps, especially along the Tubman Byway.”

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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. In addition to sites along the byway, Maryland attractions with permanent exhibits on Harriet Tubman include:

Following the kick-off Tubman 200th Birthday Celebration Weekend, planned Year of Harriet Tubman events, exhibits, and activities include:

  • Exhibit of numerous artifacts from Tubman’s life—many in public for the first time—including the receipt from a midwife for Tubman’s birth, Tubman’s “runaway” advertisement, and items recovered from the site of her father Ben Ross’ cabin. (March 1-31, 2022 at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, Church Creek)
  • Birding on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway” Join Harriet Tubman Tours and Delmarva Birding Weekends for our guided, self-driven tour. Learn about the life and times of the famed freedom seeker and human rights activist known as “The Moses of Her People,”and experience some of the best birding and Bald Eagle watching on America’s Eastern Seaboard. (April 9, 2022 and various dates through October)
  • Not What You Think, an a cappella ensemble dedicated to social justice is joining the ongoing celebration of Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday with a musical performance. (April 22, 2022 at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, Church Creek)
  • “We Walk with Harriet History Walks” – Narrated history tours in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot counties which include walking, sailing, and horse and buggy rides. (Thursday-Saturday during the last weekend of every month April-October, led by Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center)
  • “Beacon of Hope,” a new 12-foot bronze sculpture of Harriet Tubman, created by Wesley Wofford Sculpture Studio, will be dedicated at the Dorchester County Courthouse – a former site of slave auctions and a daring escape to freedom engineered by Tubman in the mid-1800s. The ceremony will happen during the annual Day of Resilience event. (September 10, 2022, Dorchester County Courthouse, Cambridge)
  • “Emancipation Celebration” During Maryland’s International Underground Railroad Month, celebrate Harriet Tubman’s decision to self-liberate with programs and activities throughout the day. (Sept. 18, 2022 at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, Church Creek)
  • “Lead On, Harriet!” Interactive history program for ages 9 and up. Take a ride on the Underground Railroad with the famous Maryland-born conductor. (Oct. 15 and Dec. 3, 2022, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Chesapeake Children’s Museum, Annapolis)
  • PBS will premiere “Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom,” a documentary produced by Maryland Public Television (MPT), directed by Stanley Tucker and narrated by Oscar®-Nominated and Emmy® Award-Winning Actor Alfre Woodard. (Oct. 4, 2022)
  • Bike the UGRR: Harriet’s Journey Home” Join in a bicycling event inspired by Harriet Tubman and her daring journeys to freedom. Choose from a 25-mile or 43-mile ride along and around the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (Oct. 15, 2022)

To further immerse yourself in the Tubman Byway, download the audio guide complete with new AR/VR experiences or request a free copy of the byway map and guide. Share your travel highlights on social media using the hashtag #MDinFocus and #Tubman200. For even more inspiration on planning your Harriet Tubman journey in Maryland, visit www.visitmaryland.org.

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