The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Featured Content October 11, 2016 – The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public September 24, 2016


Established by an Act of Congress on December 16, 2003, after decades of proposals to create a national museum dedicated to African American History and Culture, the museum opened its doors to the public September 24, 2016.

“The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.”
NMAAHC website

117 Stat. 2676 - National Museum of African American History and Culture Act

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  • LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3491 (S. 1157):
  • CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
  • Nov. 18, 19, considered and passed House.
  • Nov. 20, considered and passed Senate.

115 Stat. 1009 - National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for Action Presidential Commission Act of 2001

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  • LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3442:
  • CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 147 (2001):
  • Dec. 11, considered and passed House.
  • Dec. 17, considered and passed Senate.

20 U.S.C. 80r-6 - Building for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

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162 Cong. Rec. E1380 - Recognizing the Efforts of Lonnie Bunch, the Founding Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

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DCPD-201600624 - Remarks at a Reception for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

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DCPD-201600629 - The President's Weekly Address, September 24, 2016

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Search govinfo for more NMAAHC related legislation and documents.

View a “Comprehensive Timeline of Key Events in the Mission to Create the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in an excerpt from Judge Robert L. Wilkins book “Long Road to Hard Truth.”

To learn more about the museum, visit the Smithsonian NMAAHC’s website or take an interactive tour of the museum highlighting important features of the building and some of the signature artifacts on the Smithsonian's online magazine.