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How You Can Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture

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Image via Tony Hisgett
Mary Zakheim
Written by Mary Zakheim

More than 100 years after its initial proposal, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on September 24th, 2016. The museum, which opened amid a three-day celebration over the weekend, was officially welcomed to the National Mall space in a commemoration speech by President Barack Obama.

The ceremony was also attended by former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, Chief Justice John Roberts, and many other leaders, supporters and citizens looking to witness history.

The museum was first proposed by black veterans of the Civil War in 1915 and was officially established by an Act of Congress in 2003 after decades of efforts to highlight the contributions of African Americans to American history and culture.

The NMAAHC became the first national museum exclusively dedicated to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. Which, you know, is a BFD.

The celebrations were a star-studded affair, featuring performances from Stevie Wonder and Patti LaBelle, a new short film premiere by Ava Duvernay, readings of black historians and poets by Angela Bassett, and much more.

In his opening address, President Obama said, “A great nation doesn’t shy away from the truth.” Further adding, “Hopefully this museum makes us talk to each other and listen to each other and see each other.”

Obviously, there has been a lot of interest in jetting off to see the new addition to the National Mall landscape. If you, too, want to be one of the visitors able to experience this historic documentation, there are some things you need to know.

Probably the most important thing is that you will need to reserve your spot before you head there as there are an unprecedented amount of national and international visitors to the museum. While advanced reservations are no longer available, there are a limited amount of free passes that can be picked up at the museum on a first come, first served basis in the morning.

The museum ticket booth opens at 9:15 am, while the museum is open from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. Though this Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, the museum will remain open until midnight and 10:00 pm, respectively. Which is great, because it gives more time for all visitors to spend more time in this important museum.

So — hurry and get yourself over to Washington, D.C. to check out the Smithsonian’s latest installment!

#NMAAHC views. | ‘d by @flint_photo during our first #Instameet. #APeoplesJourney #IgDC

A photo posted by NMAAHC (@nmaahc) on

Planning to check out the museum? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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About the author

Mary Zakheim

Mary Zakheim

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch.

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