President speaks at black history museum groundbreaking
February 22nd, 2012
01:25 PM ET

President speaks at black history museum groundbreaking

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Smithsonian Institution officially began construction Wednesday on a new museum dedicated to African American culture and heritage – a complex committed to the celebration and study one of the central components of the American story.

Construction of the Smithsonian's 19th museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture – to be located on the National Mall – is expected to last three years. The museum is slated to open in 2015.

The nation's first black commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, delivered remarks and spoke of the importance of the museum’s location.

“It was on this ground long ago that lives were once traded, where hundreds of thousands once marched for jobs and for freedom. It was here that the pillars of our democracy were built, often by black hands,” the president said. “And it is on this spot –- alongside the monuments to those who gave birth to this nation, and those who worked so hard to perfect it –- that generations will remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational, but always central role that African Americans have played in the life of our country.”
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February 22nd, 2012
10:01 AM ET

Smithsonian breaking ground on black history museum

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Smithsonian Institution will officially begin construction Wednesday on a new museum dedicated to African American culture and heritage - a complex committed to the celebration and study one of the central components of the American story.

The nation's first black commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, will deliver remarks at the 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Former first lady Laura Bush is also scheduled to attend.

Construction of the Smithsonian's 19th museum - to be located on the National Mall - is expected to last three years. The museum is slated to open in 2015.
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POTUS's schedule for Wednesday, February 22, 2012
February 22nd, 2012
08:03 AM ET

POTUS's schedule for Wednesday, February 22, 2012

President Obama focuses his day, at least his public schedule, on the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The ceremony takes place this morning across the street from the White House grounds. The new museum, which isn't expected to open until 2015, will be located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the National American History Museum. President Obama will deliver remarks at the event emceed by Phylicia Rashad, better known as Claire Huxtable from the Cosby Show. Opera singer Denyce Graves will also be performing at the event. In the afternoon, the president and Mrs. Obama will host a reception in the East Room in honor of the groundbreaking. That event is closed to the press. For the full schedule, released by the White House, click below. FULL POST