The coalition emphasized that no federal tax dollars will be sought to build this new national museum in Washington. Its first step is to seek a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study the establishment of the museum and a bipartisan Congressional resolution in support of the commission.
“The stories about the migration and immigration of our ancestors as well as those coming today are dramatic and will be compelling in this museum,” said Sam Eskenazi, director of the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. “This will be America’s only national institution devoted exclusively to telling the full story of the making of the American people.”
Said Eskenazi, “The museum’s full story could be told in four chapters: (1) The First Peoples Come, from the prehistoric period to 1607 with the English settlement in Jamestown; (2) The Nation Takes Form, from 1607 to 1820: the story of American Indians, English and other European settlement, the African slave trade, Hispanic settlement, the establishment of the nation and the beginning of its expansion; (3) The Great In-Gathering, from 1820 to 1924: the story of this country’s century of immigration, when the ancestors of most Americans arrived; (4) And Still They Come, from 1924 to the present: the ongoing story of American immigration and migration.”
The coalition declares that 50 notable scholars from around the nation and the world are formally supporting establishment of the museum. Eskenazi indicated that the vision of the museum includes a national genealogical center, a scholars’ center, archival collections, and a film center. The creation of the coalition began in early 2009.
Subscribe FREE: IPM Digital Edition