DRESDEN – U-Haul announced the release of an additional 800 new 10-foot moving vans to showcase the Underground Railroad, just in time to honor Black History Month. Recognized today as one of the first civil rights movements, the Underground Railroad, with its loose association of people, places and things, helped more than 100,000 fugitives during their journey to freedom. Join us as we commemorate and honor the Underground Railroad at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site.

U-Haul officially unveiled the Ontario SuperGraphic in Aug. 2009 as part of its “Venture Across Canada” Campaign at the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden, Ontario.  Today the Ontario SuperGraphic will be seen by many as it travels across North America on a total of 2,700 U-Haul moving vans.

Abolishing slavery decades earlier than the U.S., Canada became a haven for enslaved people seeking freedom. “Conductors” such as the Reverend Josiah Henson and Harriet Tubman assisted many aboard the Underground Railroad, and more than 40,000 fugitives made it to Canada, the Promised Land. In Canada, those who were formerly enslaved could vote, own land, serve on juries and go to public schools and college. And though it did not come easy, African-Americans in Canada did have the same rights as white immigrants.

“U-Haul is always thrilled to partner with educational organizations like Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site to help spread the knowledge about the Underground Railroad across North America,” stated Jake Spelic, president, U-Haul Company of Eastern Ontario. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site is an important Canadian historical site that showcases Reverend Henson, all of his efforts as an abolitionist and conductor for the Underground Railroad, and also the lives of many fugitive slaves who found freedom in the Dresden area.”

“Ontario’s connection to the Underground Railroad story is full of stories of hope and courage, acts of bravery and fascinating legacies left behind by these early pioneers,” noted Steven Cook, site manager and curator of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site.  “Over time, some 40,000 freedom-seekers made it to Ontario via the Underground Railroad.  They contributed to a vibrant Canadian society as doctors, publishers, lawyers and pioneering political figures, to name a few. We’re proud to share many of their inspiring stories here at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site.”

U-Haul has been decorating its moving trucks with vibrant images featuring distinctive features of every U.S. state and Canadian province since 1988, with the launch of the “America’s Moving Adventure” and “Canada’s Moving Adventure” U-Haul SuperGraphics Campaigns. The newest SuperGraphics are part of the “Venture Across America” Campaign that highlights little-known facts about North America. Nearly 200 different images have been created since the SuperGraphics Program began. They can be viewed online at uhaul.com/supergraphics.