COLUMBUS - The Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee gave the stamp of approval to House Bill 340, legislation to designate September as “International Underground Railroad Month.” Bill sponsors State Representatives Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) and Willis Blackshear (D-Dayton) began legislative action in October 2021 to recognize the critical time in American history.
“I’d like to thank the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee for their support on this important issue,” said Bird. “The importance of the Underground Railroad needs to be remembered in American and Ohio history. With an official designation month, we can remember the sites, the people and the stories of those who made it happen.”
Several stops along the Underground Railroad are located in Clermont and Brown Counties, part of the 66th House District represented by Bird. During the fight to abolish slavery, abolitionists in the area played a role in helping runaway slaves escape the South.
“Designating September as International Underground Railroad Month in Ohio, is not only appropriate but necessary to honor the history of Ohioans who contributed to Underground Railroad’s mission of justice for enslaved people,” said Blackshear.
H.B. 340 now awaits a full vote on the Senate floor.