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Harriet Tubman Day: March 10

Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to freedom and led more than 300 other slaves to their freedom, too. Harriet Tubman was acquainted with many of the social reformers and abolitionists of her time, and she spoke against slavery and for womens rights. Tubman died March 10, 1913.

In 1990 the US Congress and President George H. W. Bush first declared March 10 to be Harriet Tubman Day. In 2003 New York State established the holiday.

Public Law 101-252 / March 13, 1990: 101ST Congress (S.J. Res. 257)

To designate March 10, 1990, as “Harriet Tubman Day”       

Whereas Harriet Ross Tubman was born into slavery in Bucktown, Maryland, in or around the year 1820; 

Whereas she escaped slavery in 1849 and became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad; 

Whereas she undertook a reported nineteen trips as a conductor, endeavoring despite great hardship and great danger to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom; 

Whereas Harriet Tubman became an eloquent and effective speaker on behalf of the movement to abolish slavery; 

Whereas she served in the Civil War as a soldier, spy, nurse, scout, and cook, and as a leader in working with newly freed slaves; 

Whereas after the War, she continued to fight for human dignity, human rights, opportunity, and justice; and 

Whereas Harriet Tubman—whose courageous and dedicated pursuit of the promise of American ideals and common principles of humanity continues to serve and inspire all people who cherish freedom—died at her home in Auburn, New York, on March 10, 1913; Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That March 10, 1990 be designated as “Harriet Tubman Day,” to be observed by the people of the United States with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Approved March 13, 1990.


Congressional record, Vol. 136 (1990):

Mar. 6, considered and passed Senate.

Mar. 7, considered and passed House.

From the White House, signed by George Bush, then President of the United