This Year Also Marks Harriet Tubman’s 200th Birthday

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rob Portman (R-OH), the  Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, to honor the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman with the creation of commemorative coins bearing her image and emblematic of her legacy. The coins mark what would have been Tubman’s 200th birthday in March 2022 and will be paid for by sales to the public, at no cost to taxpayers.

“Harriet Tubman’s incredible life story is an inspiration to us all,” said Senator Rosen. “After escaping slavery herself, Tubman went on to risk her life and safety to help more than 70 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom. From her work as a spy and a nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War, to her leadership in the women’s suffrage movement, Harriet Tubman is an American hero and I am thrilled that this bipartisan legislation to recognize her legacy is one step closer to becoming law.” 

“Harriet Tubman selflessly and courageously dedicated her life to helping others escape from the bondage of slavery,” said Senator Portman. “She was a trailblazer who paved the way for civil and women’s rights leaders to follow in her stead. With the Senate passage of this bipartisan legislation, I’m pleased that we are one step closer to honoring Tubman’s life and legacy.”

“Born into slavery in 1822, Harriet Tubman is arguably the most well-known figure of the Underground Railroad. After escaping slavery herself, she went on to help many of people escape to freedom,” said Stephanie McCurry, President of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. “I am grateful to Senator Rosen for her work on this legislation and thrilled that the Senate is bringing the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin one step closer to reality with such overwhelming, bipartisan support.”

“The legacy of Harriet Tubman is one of triumph, resiliency, and courage,” said Roxann McCoy, President of the Las Vegas NAACP. “Her legacy teaches us that it is vital to advocate for positive entities one can believe in and that justice and equality lead to representation for all. With this legacy, we as a nation shine proudly with the passing of The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative coin act.”

“Harriet Tubman is one of the most revered figures in American history and the ongoing fight for inclusive freedom. The passage of this legislation in the United States Senate rightly enshrines her among our nation’s pantheon of heroes,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., President and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “It is an essential step in ensuring our national heroes reflect the true diversity of those who have contributed so significantly to our nation’s democracy. Minting Ms. Tubman’s likeness on a commemorative coin will encourage people to learn more about this extraordinary leader who had such a profound impact on American history and culture. Modern-day abolitionists continue to be inspired by the principles of courage, cooperation, and perseverance she exemplified to better our country.”

“We are pleased to see the bipartisan support for our beloved patriot, Harriet Tubman, in her bicentennial year,” said Dr. Dennis V. Proctor, Chairman of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. and Presiding Bishop of the State of New York for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the chosen church of Harriet Tubman. “The three commemorative coins from the U.S. Mint are most fitting. We are the stewards of Tubman’s legacy. Our goal remains to find meaningful ways to share Harriet with freedom loving people throughout the world. The coins are a symbol of Tubman’s quest for freedom, equity and destiny – the ideals of democracy!” 

“In this bi-centennial year of Harriet Tubman it is huge that there is bicameral and bipartisan support to honor her life and legacy with the commemorative coins,” said Karen Hill, President and CEO of Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. “Tubman’s heroism, patriotism and activism are all a part of what made America. We thank Rep. Katko and Rep. Meeks in the House and Sen. Rosen, Sen. Portman, and Sen. Schumer for their work in making the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act a reality. We look forward to working with the Treasury Department, and corporate and non-profit partners to ensure that these coins saturate America and become a beloved family keepsake. Again, many thanks to all who are making this a reality.”

The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act (S.697) directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue – at no cost to American taxpayers and for a surcharge to purchasers –  $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half dollar clad coins bearing Tubman’s image and emblematic of her legacy, all of which would be legal tender. Proceeds from the sale of such coins to the public would pay for any costs associated with their minting. Surcharges received by the Treasury would be paid equally to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, New York to help fulfill their missions of telling the stories of abolitionists and inspiring the public by sharing Harriet Tubman’s core values and promoting her enormous legacy.

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