President Barack Obama will sign a proclamation Monday creating a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument on the Eastern Shore, a designation long sought by advocates and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The designation protects the land from development and complements plans to create a state park in Dorchester County, where Tubman was born, escaped slavery and helped lead other slaves to freedom. The monument will be managed by the National Park Service.
Members of Maryland's congressional delegation have for years sought to approve funding to honor Tubman on the Eastern Shore. The monument designation coincides with this year's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Tubman's death March 10.
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The Obama administration has previously designated only four national monument sites under Antiquities Act of 1906, which gives the president power to restrict the use of land. Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration formally requested the designation last year.