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Ringing Tribute: 200 Years of Harriet Tubman – Military Women’s Memorial – Arlington
January 1 @ 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm ESTFree
Born into slavery as Araminta Ross in 1822, Ms. Tubman escaped to the North in 1849 to become the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. A portrait of dignity and courage, she helped escort more than 70 people to freedom.
To honor her legacy and contributions, Veteran American Servicewomen will ring a solitary bell 200 times to mark the years since the birth of Ms. Tubman.
The life of Harriet Tubman
Ms. Tubman’s early life was defined by forced work and isolation. She toiled in the marshlands on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for her enslaver, suffered a debilitating head wound that left her with life-long hypersomnia, and watched as one family member after another were sold off to other estates.
Seeing an opportunity when her enslaver, Edward Brodess, died, Ms. Tubman fled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over the next decade, she returned to Maryland 13 times to liberate family and friends from bondage. Dubbed “Moses” for leading her people to freedom, she famously never lost a passenger on her secretive, nighttime escapes.
On the marriage to her first husband, a free Black man named John Tubman, she changed her name to that of her mother: Harriet. She has the distinction of being the first African American woman in the U.S. military, having served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. In one of her most dramatic pursuits of the war, Ms. Tubman planned and led an armed raid with the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment (comprising African-Americans) along the Combahee River, freeing more than 750 people from slavery
A resounding tribute to Harriet Tubman
At noon on New Year’s Day 2022, Veteran American Servicewomen will ring a solitary bell 200 times to mark the years since the birth of Ms. Tubman. While her exact date and location of birth is disputed, many scholars record the year as 1822, based on a midwife payment and several other historical documents. The resolute tolling will last approximately 25 minutes.
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Learn about the Military Women’s Memorial
The Military Women’s Memorial is a one-of-a-kind tribute to America’s Servicewomen, past and present, featuring interactive exhibits and a world-class collection of military women’s stories and artifacts – all housed in a stunning colonnade of marble arcs and fountains at the head of Memorial Drive, the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
Among her many honors, Ms. Tubman is recognized as the first woman to lead a major military operation in the United States and the first African American woman to serve in the U.S. military. Her life is one of the treasured stories preserved in the Military Women’s Memorial.