Last weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, one of America's most prolific historical figures. While commemorations across the region included an array of ceremonies and ground breakings, one federal agency decided to educate the public about Tubman's achievements.
The National Park Service and D.C. Reading is Fundamental, a local non-profit in Northwest, hosted a program on Saturday, March 9 at the Frederick Douglass Historical Site in Southeast. History buffs and others packed a hall inside the Visitors Center to learn about Tubman's role in the Civil War from noted scholars, C.R. Gibbs and Rosemary Sadlier. The group of 30, who attended the event, also enjoyed a tour of the Frederick Douglass House after the 90 minute lecture ended.
"I find Harriet Tubman to be a rather intriguing individual," said Michael Muanankese, 27, in regard to what motivated him to attend the lecture. "What she did defied logic by all measures and was exceptional in my opinion. You have to respect her courage," the Silver Spring resident said.
Tubman, the Underground Railroad conductor, known for leading slaves to freedom through an intricate network comprised of safe houses never lost a passenger during her 19 trips to Northern states and Canada. During the Civil War, Tubman served as a Union spy and led an armed expedition in South Carolina that freed 700 slaves. After the war ended, Tubman helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harper's Ferry and worked with Susan B. Anthony in the women's suffrage movement.