By Ingrid Sturgis
An American war hero, Harriet Tubman worked as a cook, nurse, armed scout and spy for the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Not only was Tubman considered the first women to lead an armed mission during a raid at Combahee Ferry in South Carolina, the heralded scout freed more than 700 enslaved people in the expedition. She also returned 13 times into slave territory to free family members and others as a conductor for the Underground Railroad, a network of antislavery safe houses.
Born Araminta Ross on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Tubman later became an abolitionist, humanitarian and activist in the suffragette movement. She opened a retirement home for formerly enslaved people.
In 1990, Congress honored her exploits by passing a law, signed by President George H.W. Bush, naming March 10th Harriet Tubman Day. Harriet Tubman Day is also commemorated in New York (2003) and Maryland (2000). Soon this hard-working sister could have her rightful place on the $20 if the administration would only show her the money.