WASHINGTON — Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his legislation he’s worked on for years to authorize the Smithsonian Institution to create a museum honoring American Latinos, the National Museum of the American Latino Act, was signed into law.
“For decades, Texans have advocated for greater representation of American Latino stories in our nation’s capital, and I’m proud to announce that together, we have ensured the National Museum of the American Latino will become a reality,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Because the President has signed my bill into law, future generations that travel to Washington will be able to learn about the incredible American Latinos who helped build this nation.”
The National Museum of the American Latino Act builds on nearly 26 years’ worth of work in laying the foundation for the establishment of a future museum. Following a 1994 report entitled ‘Willful Neglect’ showing the Smithsonian Institution’s failure to include the story of the American Latino, the first Congressional bill was introduced in 2003 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.