Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would create a Presidential Commission to study the establishment of a Museum of the American People devoted to the role immigration and migration play in the development of American society.
The legislation enjoys the support of more than 150 ethnic and minority groups and is cosponsored by Representatives John Duncan (R-TN), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Tim Walz (D-MN), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Tom Cole (R-OK), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
"The United States is a nation of immigrants. But there is no place today where one can go to learn the stories of the many vibrant ethnicities that make up the fabric of the American experience," said Rep. Moran. "The Museum of the American People weaves together all the stories of the ethnicities that make our society diverse and strong."
The legislation would establish a Presidential Commission to study the feasibility and planning of a Museum of the American People. The museum would be America's only national institution devoted exclusively to telling the full story of how the world's pioneers interwove their diverse races, religions, and ethnicities into the strongest societal fabric ever known to modern mankind.
"My District in East Tennessee was settled heavily by Scotch Irish, and today, it has become one of the most popular places to move to in the entire Country," said Rep. Duncan. "No other Nation in the world has a more diverse people, and this museum will be an important tool in telling these many stories."
"Every American will want to come to learn their own group's story," said Sam Eskenazi, director of the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. "At the same time, they will learn everyone else's story. Foreigners will flock here to learn how natives from their own countries contributed to our nation's greatness."
Similar museums, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and the Canadian Museum of Civilization, remain the most visited museums in each nation. The museum would also draw from successful museums like the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to utilize 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.
Funding for the Presidential Commission, as well as construction of the museum itself, would be derived solely from private donations.