WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSNewYork) — The new National Museum of African-American History and Culture, opened to the public on Saturday.
President Obama spoke at the dedication ceremony telling the crowd in attendance that the museum would help tell a “richer and fuller” story of African-Americans.
Early Saturday morning, CBS2’s Marlie Hall had a preview of what visitors could expect when touring the museum.
Visitors will see thousands of artifacts — some so large that the museum had to be built around them, including a segregation era rail car and a guard tower from a notorious Louisiana prison.
Guests are encouraged to start with an exhibit on slavery in the U.S. which displays shackles, a slave cabin, and Harriet Tubman’s shawl.
A tour brings visitors chronologically through freedom, segregation, and civil rights — stories which are told through the help of an interactive lunch counter.
Overhead is a biplane flown by Tuskegee airmen in World War II.
The museum’s collection was built from scratch. Many of its 37,000 artifacts were donated.
“For me it’s like becoming a part of history,” curator Michele Gates Moresi said.
She has worked for a decade to make the museum possible.
“To help make it happen is pretty special and humbling,” she said.
The museum’s upper floors celebrate African-American achievements in sports and culture. That’s where you’ll find Chuck Berry’s Cadillac convertible, and Muhammad Ali’s boxing robe.