By | 10 Mar 2023 at 10:12 AM
Harriet Tubman Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Harriet

Harriet Tubman Day is observed annually on March 10. Harriet Tubman was a former slave who fought tirelessly to free other slaves by assisting them in escaping their captors. Tubman is honoured throughout the United States, particularly in Maryland and New York, two states that played a pivotal role in her life. She is best known for the underground railroad, a network of safe houses she established to aid slaves’ escape. Harriet Tubman Day is a time to remember the heroic deeds of this great woman and to honour her legacy by combating racism wherever it exists.

The background of Harriet Tubman Day

Congress of the United States established Harriet Tubman Day as a national holiday in 1990 to honour Tubman’s heroic efforts towards the abolition of slavery and the liberation of slaves. The holiday was adopted into law by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 1990, passed through the House of Representatives the following day, and declared a holiday by George Bush, the president at the time, on March 9, 1990.

Although the specifics of Harriet Tubman’s birth date are unknown or unconfirmed, we do know that she was born to Benjamin Ross and Harriet Green in March between 1820 and 1822. She was born on a plantation in New Maryland’s Dorchester County. Her original name was Araminta ‘Minty’ Ross, but she changed it to Harriet Tubman shortly after her first marriage.

Tubman’s bravery can be traced back to when she was a teenager. She frequently escaped, fought back, and wore multiple layers of clothing to ward off beatings. Her mother also had a reputation for fighting back. Tubman’s mother once told a slave trader who wanted to kidnap her son, “You are after my son, but the first male who enters my home will have his head blown off.”

In 1849, she escaped the plantation and became a free woman. After her escape, she devoted the majority of her life to fighting for others and devising strategies to help more slaves gain their freedom. She worked odd jobs and saved money to assist in the emancipation of slaves.
She helped approximately 70 slaves escape over the years, and she never lost a passenger.

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Moses was Tubman’s codename, a reference to the biblical figure who also assisted slaves in escaping.

John Brown referred to her as “General Tubman” after she assisted him in planning his raid on a federal arsenal.

In 1898, during brain surgery, Tubman refused anaesthesia and bit a bullet instead.

It took Tubman 34 years to receive her veteran’s compensation, and only the intervention of the then-Secretary of State made it possible.

During her time as a nurse during the American Civil War, Tubman developed a treatment for dysentery.


Year Date Day
2023 March 10 Friday
2024 March 10 Sunday
2025 March 10 Monday
2026 March 10 Tuesday
2027 March 10 Wednesday