GLEN BURNIE – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Cultural Resources Division has introduced new Harriet Tubman banners at the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Glen Burnie branch for the Juneteenth festivities. These banners showcase the remarkable life and enduring legacy of Maryland’s renowned abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor while also highlighting transportation-related artifacts found by archaeologists at Harriet Tubman’s Birthplace.
The Maryland Transportation Secretary, Paul J. Wiedefeld, expressed pride in featuring Harriet Tubman and the archaeological findings from her birthplace on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Secretary Wiedefeld emphasized the importance of these banners, stating that their placement at the Motor Vehicle Administration allows for a convenient and accessible means to inform and engage the people of Maryland about Tubman’s extraordinary impact.
Born Araminta “Minty” Ross in 1822 in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 and served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad for the next decade. She returned to Maryland over a dozen times, leading others to freedom.
Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer expressed gratitude for hosting the banners and allowing customers to delve into Maryland’s history during their visits to MVA branches. Nizer highlighted the MVA staff’s pride in their work, noting that honoring an inspirational leader like Harriet Tubman further exemplifies Maryland’s sense of pride.
Over the past three years, archaeologists from the Maryland Department of Transportation have excavated at Harriet Tubman’s birthplace, unearthing significant discoveries that shed light on the living conditions of enslaved people two centuries ago.
Dr. Julie Schablitsky, the Chief of Cultural Resources for the Maryland Department of Transportation, shared the archaeologists’ mission of sharing their discoveries with the public in unique and accessible ways. The Motor Vehicle Administration banners represent just the beginning of a comprehensive campaign to engage customers and the traveling public in learning about Maryland’s rich history, added Dr. Schablitsky.
The newly unveiled Harriet Tubman banners will be displayed at the Glen Burnie branch for approximately two months before making their way to other Motor Vehicle Administration branches. The Glen Burnie branch, which offers MVA services by appointment, also hosts satellite services for the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and TSA PreCheck, among others. Additional information about the Glen Burnie branch can be found here.
To keep track of the banners’ movement and learn which branch they will be displayed at next, individuals can visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
This celebration of Juneteenth through the exhibition of Harriet Tubman banners at Motor Vehicle Administration branches reflects Maryland’s commitment to honoring its historical figures and engaging the public in a deeper understanding of the state’s rich heritage.