WAMU 88.5 : News

At African American Civil War Museum Opening, Gray Makes Pitch For Statehood

Play associated audio
Leon Vaughn, a Massachusetts 54th Regiment Company B Civil War reenactor, at the July 18 opening ceremony for the new African American Civil War Museum in Northwest D.C.
Elliott Francis
Leon Vaughn, a Massachusetts 54th Regiment Company B Civil War reenactor, at the July 18 opening ceremony for the new African American Civil War Museum in Northwest D.C.

The museum, which re-opened Monday in a new $5 million space, tells the story of African Americans who fought to end slavery and unite a nation. Among those speaking at the re-dedication was D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who seized the moment of historic reflection to illuminate the districts ongoing struggle for self rule.

"Why is it that a city that's balanced its budget for 14 consecutive years have to send its budget up to a group of people for approval who can't even get action on the debt ceiling?" he said during remarks at the ceremony.

Gray and other city leaders have been particularly vocal on the issue of D.C. statehood this year, after Congress in May passed a budget deal that banned the District from spending taxpayer funds on abortions.

"African Americans stood up for freedom in this nation, yet we still have 600,000 people 150 years later who still don't enjoy freedom in this city," Gray says. "So there certainly is a nexus between then and now, and we couldn't let the opportunity go by without mentioning that."

The standing room only crowd at the museum opening continued to loudly applaud the mayor's comments. Gray called for a rally late in August to focus attention on home rule for the District.

NPR

For Penn & Teller's Magical Partnership, The Trick Is Telling The Truth

The duo Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller are back on Broadway. They both talk — yes, even Teller — with NPR's Scott Simon about magic, danger and the remarkable endurance of their 40-year partnership.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

My Cat Xavier For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow superPAC backed Hank the Cat in the 2012 Virginia Senate election. Xavier also cared about naps, treats, and prison reform.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.