WASHINGTON — Last night U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)’s legislation to authorize the Smithsonian Institution to create a museum honoring American Latinos, the National Museum of the American Latino Act, passed the Senate as a part of the Omnibus funding legislation. It now heads to the President’s desk.
“As a proud Texan, I’m fortunate to have grown up in a state steeped in the contributions of Latino Americans.”
“From the brave soldiers who fought in the Texas Revolution, to the civil rights activists like Cesar Chaves, cultural icons like Selena, and leaders of all types in our communities – generations of Latino Americans have shaped our country as it is today.”
“But many Americans aren’t familiar with the vast contributions of these men and women, and one critical way we can begin to right this wrong is by providing a brick and mortar home for their stories in our nation’s capital.”
“The National Museum of the American Latino will honor and preserve the stories of Latinos throughout our history, so generations of Americans can view a more accurate picture of the great American story.”
The National Museum of the American Latino Act builds on nearly 17 years’ worth of work in laying the foundation for the establishment of a future museum. In 2003, the first Congressional bill was introduced to study the creation of a museum. In 2008, with Presidential and Congressional leadership, a 23-member Commission was established to study the viability of a museum. In 2011, the Commission’s work culminated in a final report that detailed that the creation of a museum on the National Mall was indeed feasible. In 2020, this legislation will act on the Commission’s report and put into motion the process of establishing a Latino Museum, similar to those that established other Smithsonian museums.