After the museum was first proposed by black Civil War veterans almost 100 years ago, a National Museum of African American History and Culture became a reality today as President Obama and former first lady Laura Bush led groundbreaking ceremonies on the National Mall in Washington, DC where the 7-story building will open in 2015.
As part of the Smithsonian Institution, the $500 million museum, created by an act of Congress in 2003, will chronicle more than 200 years of black life in the United States and house rare memorabilia, like a shawl worn by Harriet Tubman and bronze ID tags worn by slaves.
President Obama said the museum will not simply be a record of tragedy, but “a celebration of life.”
One of its prized items is an airplane used to train the famed Tuskegee Airmen, black fighter pilots who fought in World War II.
Visit the museum’s website at NMAAHC.si.edu
(WATCH the video below, and read much more in the story from USA Today)