Biden signs bill for coin to commemorate legacy of Harriet Tubman

Press Release

Biden signs bill for coin to commemorate legacy of Harriet Tubman

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Biden signs bill for coin to commemorate legacy of Harriet Tubman

Proceeds from coin will support mission of the Freedom Center

CINCINNATI, OH (August 4, 2022) — President Biden yesterday signed into law H.R. 1842, the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, to celebrate freedom hero Harriet Tubman. The law, introduced and passed with bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and Senate, will mint a series of coins in honor of the Underground Railroad conductor’s extraordinary achievements. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will receive a portion of the proceeds raised from the coin’s surcharges to advance its mission and to perpetuate the enduring legacy of Tubman for the next generation of freedom conductors.

“Harriet Tubman is one of the most revered figures in American history and in the ongoing fight for inclusive freedom,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “We applaud the bilateral legislative support that rightly enshrines Harriet Tubman among our nation’s pantheon of heroes in 2022, the 200th anniversary of her birth. 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.”

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most recognized figure from the era of the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network by which enslaved individuals sought to liberate themselves in the first half of the 19th century. Born Araminta “Minty” Ross in March 1822 on a plantation in Maryland, Tubman self-liberated via the Underground Railroad in 1849, crossing from Maryland to the free state of Pennsylvania. She returned to Maryland 13 times over the next decade, leading 70 enslaved people to freedom in Canada.

The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and John Katko (R-NY), will mint a limited number of three new coins to be sold exclusively by the US Mint that will bear Tubman’s likeness on the front and an image representing the Freedom Center on the back. The Freedom Center will consult on the design of the coins with input from the Commission of Fine Arts; Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen will select the final coin designs.

“Minting Ms. Tubman’s likeness on a commemorative coin will encourage people to learn more about this extraordinary leader who had such a profound impact on American history and culture,” added Keown. “Modern-day abolitionists continue to be inspired by the principles of courage, cooperation and perseverance she exemplified to better our country.”

The Freedom Center has secured the support of Procter & Gamble as lead sponsor to collaborate in helping honor Tubman’s legacy through the commemorative coin. P&G’s sponsorship will help maximize the financial support the Freedom Center receives from the project by supporting coin sales initiatives and outreach efforts. The partnership reflects P&G’s ongoing commitments to equality and inclusion and its support for the Freedom Center since its founding.

“Enshrining Harriet Tubman’s courage and perseverance is an important step in reminding future generations of the role individual action can play in creating freedom and equality in our society,” said Damon Jones, chief communications officer of Procter & Gamble and a board member of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “I applaud the work of our elected officials and Freedom Center leadership in working together to recognize her extraordinary role in American history.”


About the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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