WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and Representatives Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05) and John Katko (NY-24) applauded news that their bipartisan, bicameral Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act has been signed into law by President Biden. This bill honors the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman with the creation of a series of commemorative coins that bear her image and are emblematic of her legacy. The coins, which will be legal tender, mark what would have been Tubman’s 200th birthday this year and will be paid for by sales to the public, at no cost to taxpayers.
“Harriet Tubman’s incredible life story is one of courage, resilience, and heroism,” said Senator Rosen. “After escaping slavery, she dedicated her life to helping others flee to freedom through the Underground Railroad, served as a spy and a nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War, and became a leading voice in the women’s suffrage movement. I am thrilled this bill is now law so that we can continue to honor Tubman’s life and legacy for generations to come.”
“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. I am pleased Congress passed this important legislation honoring Tubman’s life and legacy, and the president has signed it into law. I can think of few individuals more deserving of this honor than Harriett Tubman.”
“I am incredibly pleased to see the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act signed into law by President Biden,” said Congressman Meeks. “It is a great honor for me to have sponsored this legislation to recognize Tubman’s struggle and leadership to fight for justice, equality, the rights of African Americans, and the women’s suffrage movement. This coin will commemorate Tubman’s sacrifices and incredible contributions to our nation.”
“I am incredibly excited to see the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act signed into law,” said Congressman Katko. “I am especially proud that this legislation will directly benefit the Tubman Home in Auburn, New York. This site, where Harriet Tubman lived for several years later in her life, is cherished in Central New York and plays an important role in educating the public on Tubman’s life. Throughout my time in Congress, it has been my honor to partner with the Tubman Home on several measures to honor Tubman’s tremendous legacy. I thank my colleagues for their collaboration on this significant effort to honor the legacy of a giant in American history, and I am glad to see it become law.”
“The enactment of the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act is a historic moment and represents a fitting tribute to a great woman of valor and patriotism who, despite being born into slavery, cared deeply for the well-being of humankind,” said Karen V. Hill, President & CEO of Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. “I applaud Representatives Katko and Meeks and Senators Portman and Rosen for sponsoring and advancing this legislation, which will help ensure that the Harriet Tubman Home will be able to continue its mission of protecting and preserving the homestead of Harriet Tubman, known as the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.”
“We applaud the bilateral legislative support that rightly enshrines Harriet Tubman among our nation’s pantheon of heroes. 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 and to be inspired by her extraordinary leadership,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., President and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act 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.