December 18, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC - In a letter today, 11 Members of Congress asked the President to create a commission to study a museum dedicated to the making of the American People.
The National Museum of the American People would tell the full story of every ethnic, nationality and minority group that came to this land and nation from the first humans in the Western Hemisphere through today.
The letter to President Obama says the museum "would take full advantage of emerging technologies and provide visitors with an engaging and interactive experience. The museum would be a living, dynamic institution, less reliant on artifacts and more concerned with the narrative and the mosaic of people that have and continue to contribute to our national identity."
"Now, more than ever, it is essential to remember and understand that people from every land built this country," said the letter, "and we are stronger for our multicultural, pluralistic history."
The museum, says the letter, "would help foster a sense of belonging, contribute to our national identity, and help unify rather than divide."
Sen. Brian Schatz, HI, was the lead on the letter. It was signed by Reps. Eliot Engel, NY; Donald Beyer, Jr., VA; Alcee Hastings, FL; Marcy Kaptur, OH; Barbara Lee, CA; Charles Rangel, NY; Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC; Earl Blumenauer, OR; Ruben Hinojosa, TX; and David Cicilline, RI.
A study commission is how major museums in Washington get their start such as the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the African American Museum now being built. Museum backers want to build the American People museum about three blocks off of the National Mall in Southwest Washington on a National Park Service site that has been designated as a future site for a museum.