Making History: President Butts Participates in Dedication Ceremony of National Museum

President Butts at opening of Smithsonian museum

President Calvin O. Butts, III participated in the historic dedication of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The ceremony, which took place on the National Mall, was attended by more than 7,000 guests, including President Barack Obama, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Rep. John Lewis, acted as the official opening of the museum.

"I want you to know this museum was only accomplished because men and women of goodwill, black and white, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, put their hearts together, their minds together and their hands together in order to build this great monument to a people who have truly given their all to the United States of America," said Dr. Butts. "And, finally, I want to say that don’t be discouraged by what’s ahead; hold onto your dreams and keep the faith."

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. 

"This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are. By knowing this other story we better understand ourselves and each other. It binds us together. It reaffirms that all of us are America, that African-American history is not somehow separate from our larger American story," President Barack Obama stated. "It is central to the American story."

To watch Dr. Butts' full presentation, visit YouTube. To find out more about the museum and its grand opening, visit https://nmaahc.si.edu/