washington - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today introduced legislation to create a Presidential Commission to study the establishment of a Museum of the American People devoted to the role immigration and migration played in development of American society.
The legislation has the support of more than 130 ethnic and minority groups and is cosponsored by Representatives Tim Bishop, John Duncan, John Garamendi, Jim Gerlach, Maurice Hinchey, Rush Holt, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Mike McIntyre, Bill Pascrell, Patrick Tiberi, and Delegates Eni Faleomavagea and Gregorio Sablan.
“With 160 museums and monuments along the National Mall, there is no one institution telling the complete narrative of the many, vibrant ethnicities that make up the fabric of the American experience,” Rep. Moran said. “There should always be room for museums in our nation’s capital devoted to all manner of art, cultural and scientific accomplishments, but we must leave future generations room on the National Mall to honor their heroes and causes. The Museum of the American People would bring together all the stories of the ethnicities that make up the fabric of our society, precluding the need for more and more individual museums representing one particular ethnicity or culture.”
“The United States was uniquely created and built by peoples from every land,” said Sam Eskenazi, Director of the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. “I envision the museum becoming a national pilgrimage destination for all Americans, and for foreign visitors who would learn about natives from their countries who became Americans. It could become one of the world’s most visited museums.”
Funding for the Presidential Commission as well as construction of the museum itself would be derived solely from private donations.
Canada and Mexico are both home to major national museums in their capitals, and remain the most visited museums in each nation.
Following the example of successful museums like the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Museum of the American People would use the latest in museum technology to house a permanent exhibition, National Genealogical Center, Center for Advanced Studies of the American People, and an Education and Resource Center.