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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park Will Offer Free Programs To Celebrate Abolitionist's 200th Birthday

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center will host a series of free programs from March 11–13 in celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of her birth.

Throughout the month of March, the park will display 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, which was recently discovered and excavated by Maryland Department of Transportation archeologists, according to state officials.

Gov. Larry Hogan urged Marylanders and tourists to take the time to learn about Tubman and her "selfless service to others and the cause of freedom."

"This year, as we celebrate her 200th birthday, we hope that even more Marylanders and visitors from across the country will take time to learn about the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad and her years-long struggle to lead countless slaves to their freedom," Hogan said.

The visitor center opened five years ago and is celebrating the anniversary of that opening too.

Here is a list of the events scheduled for Tubman's anniversary weekend.

Friday, March 11:7 p.m. – Virtual Premier of "Rooted Wisdom: Nature's Role in the Underground Railroad"This film chronicles the experiences of freedom seekers' journeys through the wilderness. The documentary film will stream live on Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m at The virtual event is free and open to all, though registration is encouraged at A panel discussion with historians and filmmakers will follow.Following the premiere, the film will be shown in the multi-purpose room every hour at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. throughout the celebratory weekend. Saturday, March 12:10 a.m. – Opening ceremony featuring a living history interpretation by Millicent Sparks11 a.m. – "The Discovery of the Ben Ross Homesite"Hear from Dr. Julie Schablitsky of the Maryland Department of Transportation about the successful effort to locate and excavate the homesite of Ben Ross. The artifacts are on display for the first time at the Visitor Center for the entire month of March.12 p.m. – "Foraging Freedom: Experiencing the Natural World of the Underground Railroad"Join an interactive walking tour with historian Anthony Cohen through the Legacy Garden and adjacent Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Participants should expect to be on their feet and are encouraged to wear comfortable all-weather shoes.1 p.m. – "Jubilee Voices at Harriet's House"Hear the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices during the Tubman 200th festivities. Jubilee Voices is an ensemble that is committed to the preservation of African American history and traditions through songs and storytelling. 2 p.m. – "The Education of Harriet Ross Tubman"Kate Clifford Larson, a Tubman biographer, discusses the free and enslaved people who helped raise, protect, nurture, and educate Minty to become the woman we know as Harriet Tubman.3 p.m. – "'Designing a New Place to Experience History: An Exploration of the Architects" Listen to Chris Elcock, associate principal of the architecture firm GWWO Inc., as he explains the design process behind creating the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor CenterSunday, March 13:10 a.m. – "Meet Harriet Tubman"Living history interpreter Millicent Sparks performs as Tubman and shares her monumental life with audience members. 11 a.m. – "The Hidden Chesapeake Through Harriet Tubman's Eyes"Kate Clifford Larson, a Tubman biographer, shares about some of the places around the Chesapeake Bay that bear witness to the histories, memories, and legacies of the Underground Railroad and its most famous conductor.12 p.m. – "The Chronicles of Adam"A powerful and inspirational first-person historical interpretation of an enslaved man by the name of Adam.1 p.m. – "The Legacy Hour"Hear from community members and enjoy musical selections from Renna McKinney as we honor the lives of Donald Pinder and Herschel Johnson. During the second half hour, become inspired by Tina Wyatt, great, great, great grandniece of Harriet Tubman as she shares "A Letter to Soph."2 p.m. – "The Legacy of Slavery in Maryland"Chris Haley of the Maryland State Archives presents a general overview of slavery in Maryland, which will include examples of records specifically related to the state and to counties of the Eastern Shore and how both the enslaved and free were affected by the 'peculiar institution.'3 p.m. – "Freedom Bound" Join public historian and historical interpreter Marvin-Alonzo Greer in this family-friendly program with interactive songs and stories.

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