President Barack Obama will designate Maryland’s Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Ohio’s Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Park as National Monuments under the Antiquities Act, reports TheGrio.
The act allows Presidents to preserve public areas within the U.S. as national treasures.
“The monument commemorates the life of the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad who was responsible for helping enslaved people escape from bondage to freedom,” reads a statement from a White House official. “The new national park, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, includes large sections of landscapes that are significant to Tubman’s early life in Dorchester County and evocative of her life as a slave and conductor of the Underground Railroad.
Addressing the Charles Young Buffalo Soldier National Monument, the statement continues, “The monument will preserve the home of Col. Charles Young a distinguished officer in the United States Army who was the third African American to graduate from West Point and the first to achieve the rank of Colonel. Young also served as one of the early Army superintendents of Sequoia and General Grant National Parks, before the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. The national headquarters of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, of which Col. Young was a member, made the property available for acquisition by the federal government for the purpose of establishing the national monument commemorating Young’s life and accomplishments.”
The newly designated monuments are amongst a total of five which include Delaware’s First State National Monument, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico and the San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington State.