The New 411: Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

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By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

            Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

On Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM, change will indeed come to not only Washington, D.C., but also the entire world when the public will witness the outdoor Dedication Ceremony for the brand new National Museum of African American History and Culture. That afternoon, the museum officially opens to the public.

The historic significance of the newest and 19th Smithsonian museum—and its importance to all Americans—will make it an unprecedented local, national and international event unlike any other opening of a cultural institution in America or globally in recent memory.

Tickets are not required to view the outdoor Dedication Ceremony and extensive large-screen viewing areas will be well-positioned for crowds during the Dedication…so you might want to pack up the family, get in your car and make the trip to Washington, D.C. for this once-in-a-lifetime event…and if you’re unable to make the trip to D.C. you can take part at home in this joyous and historic occasion.

Here’s the schedule…so watch in person, on television or via computer stream. Remember that entry to all Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. is free, so if you make the trip, check out a few of the other 18 Smithsonian museums.

Freedom Sounds Festival

Washington Monument Grounds

Friday, September 23, 2016, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM –

9:00 PM.

Dedication Ceremony

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Saturday, September 24, 2016

9:00 AM – Gathering and Musical Prelude

10:00 AM – Dedication Ceremony Begins and President Barack Obama

Will Be Among the Speakers

1:00 PM – Museum Opens to the Public

1:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Museum Open to the Public

(Timed Passes Required)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

10:00 am – Midnight – Museum Open to the Public

If you are planning to go to Washington, D.C., please remember that large crowds are expected for the Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Major events in Washington, D.C. require a high level of security for everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Security screenings occur at entrances to the Freedom Sounds festival and viewing areas on the Washington Monument grounds for the Dedication Ceremony and are always required to enter the museum. If possible, do not bring large day-packs, backpacks or luggage to the museum or its events as they will be subject to a lengthy search. Please give extra consideration when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly or anyone with a weakened immune system.

And, Dear Readers…if you miss all the excitement and fun, I’ll have a full report for you the week after the opening event!

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