To mark the anniversary, the Underground restored some old train cars and a steam locomotive for a series of heritage rail trips; electrification did not start until 1890. Exhibits at the London Transport Museum will include poster art that has been a feature of the Underground for much of its history, and the Royal Mint is issuing two new two-pound coins to mark the anniversary.
While you’re in London, you might also want to attend the Chelsea Flower Show May 21-25, one of the world’s greatest such events, which is marking its 100th anniversary.
• Information: ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/tube150.
It took 10 years to build this New York City train terminal, which opened 100 years ago on Feb. 2, 1913. With 67 tracks and 44 platforms, the terminal is massive in every way. A year ago, Travel + Leisure magazine ranked it as the world’s sixth most visited attraction, with 21.6 million visitors. Among its features: The world’s largest Tiffany clock, 14 feet in diameter; the station’s ceiling, 128 feet above the main concourse, decorated with a heavenly panorama of 2,500 stars; and 68 shops and 35 dining spots.
Special events will start Feb. 1 and continue throughout the year. They include a multi-media exhibition in the terminal’s historic Vanderbilt Hall Feb. 2-March 15, an exhibition of Grand Central art work March 6-July 7, and a weekend of activities May 10-11, including a parade of historic trains, performances and an exhibit of railroad memorabilia.
• Information: www.grandcentralterminal.com.
Two milestones in the fight against racism are being celebrated this year.
Harriet Tubman, who died 100 years ago, was a runaway slave who became known as the “Moses of Her People” for her work in leading slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. At great peril to herself, she made 19 trips to Maryland, bringing 300 slaves to freedom.
Tubman’s Centennial will be celebrated on Maryland’s Eastern Shore throughout the year. Key weekends: March 8-10 in Cambridge, the Tubman Underground Railroad Conference May 31-June 1 and the Tubman Centennial Fall Weekend, Oct. 5-6. Travelers can retrace the path of slaves along the Underground Railroad Byway, which has 30 stops. In Baltimore, exhibits are planned at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park.
• Information: www.harriettubmanbyway.org, www.baltimore.org.
Martin Luther King’s made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington 50 years ago, in August of 1963. The King Center in Atlanta is kicking off the I Have a Dream anniversary at this weekend’s commemoration of King’s birthday. Other events are planned during the year, but details have not been finalized.
Home of an historic race course, this elegant upstate New York town this year marks the 150th anniversary of its thoroughbred horse racing with a five-month-long celebration from May through September.
Many events are on tap, including extensive exhibits at the National Museum of Racing and the Saratoga Springs History Museum.
• Information: www.saratoga150.com.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Marking its 100th year, this bicycle competition will offer something new — it will start the June 29-July 21 race on the island of Corsica, which it has never visited before. Cyclists will pedal 2,088 miles in 21 stages, the first three in Corsica, the rest in continental France, including some difficult mountainous routes. Travel packages are available for those who want to witness portions of the race in person.
• Information: www.letour.fr/le-tour/2013/us/.