Smithsonian Breaks Ground On African American History Museum | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Smithsonian Breaks Ground On African American History Museum

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Groundbreaking is planned today for the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall. Later this morning, President Barack Obama and former first lady Laura Bush will help break ground for a new national museum that tells the history of black art, life, and culture as part of the Smithsonian Institution.

After today's event, construction will begin in earnest for the museum as a space for history that hasn't always been presented here on the National Mall. Some exhibits include a Jim Crow-era segregated railroad car, military and sports history, and Louis Armstrong's trumpet. Construction is expected to be finished by 2015. 

Marissa Grant, who's waiting eagerly outside the site for the groundbreaking with her family, says the museum will be important for both the city and the entire country.

"It's important because the only way you can understand where we are currently is by understanding our past," she says. "My son is going to be five, and he's already learned about the freedom rides, sharecropping, and things you wouldnt' think young children would be able to appreciate. So I think it's important for everyone to understand how we all work together and come together as a country." 

The museum is scheduled to open its doors in 2015.

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