KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — March 10 marks National Harriet Tubman Day across the United States.
The holiday was signed into law in March 1990 to honor Tubman's heroic actions to lead hundreds of enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad and legacy as a humanitarian and activist.
Reverend Renee Kesler, the president of Knoxville's Beck Cultural Exchange Center, said she is grateful for Tubman and thinks paying tribute to her is a "beautiful honor."
"So today, on Harriet Tubman Day, I hope that all people will do something selfless, to think of someone else as we create a beloved community, to do something that leaves this world better than they found it," Kesler said.
Tubman was born Araminta Ross in March 1822 in Maryland into slavery, according to the National Park Service. She changed her name to Harriet in 1844 after marrying John Tubman, a freeman.
The park service said she would escape slavery five years later but returned to help free friends and family for the next 10 years. As a "conductor" for the Underground Railroad, Tubman was nicknamed Moses. The Underground Railroad consisted of homes, churches and safe houses where enslaved people hid until their next move.
NPS said she would go on to befriend abolitionists like Frederick Douglass and John Brown and work with suffragists like Lucretia Coffin Mott and Susan B. Anthony.
She was also a spy, scout, nurse and cook for the U.S. Army during the Civil War, according to NPS.
Tubman died March 10, 1913, in New York and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery, according to the park service.
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