A concept a century in the making is finally happening thanks in part to a $1 million gift from the Nationwide Foundation.
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture — an idea first proposed in 1915 by a group of Black Civil War veterans — opened to the public on Sept. 24.
“We’re extremely proud to support the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” says Chad Jester, president of the Nationwide Foundation. “The African-American story is a vital part of America’s story. It’s essential we understand our country’s past to address the issues we face today and chart the course for tomorrow.”
This is the second national project to which the foundation has donated; the first was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“This museum celebrates the history and culture of African-Americans, highlights our shared American values, and tells the story of how together, we have shaped our great nation into what it is today,” says Gale King, Nationwide’s chief administrative officer.
The museum — the only national museum devoted exclusively to documenting and exploring African-American history and culture — is located in Washington, D.C., near the National Mall. It houses a collection of nearly 37,000 objects, including a 1944 training plane used by the Tuskegee Airmen and Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac.
Learn more about the museum on its website.