Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History And Culture Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary : The Two-Way : NPR

Lucille Simpson, far right, and her daughter Gwendolyn Norman, both from Detroit, Mich., wait in line to enter the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Cultural on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on May 1.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP


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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Lucille Simpson, far right, and her daughter Gwendolyn Norman, both from Detroit, Mich., wait in line to enter the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Cultural on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on May 1.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

It’s been one year since bells tolled along the East Coast, welcoming the newest Smithsonian to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since then, the museum has attracted more than 3 million people of all races, colors and creed from across the nation and around the world — averaging about 8,000 visitors daily.

“This has become more than a museum. This has become a pilgrimage site,” said Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in an interview with The Associated Press.

The one-year celebration is highlighting the various aspects of African-American history through music, dance and storytelling. Exhibits at the museum range from the glass-topped casket used to bury lynching victim Emmett Till to a fedora owned by late pop superstar Michael Jackson.

Many of the artifacts come from people’s homes and personal collections — like freed slave Joseph Trammel’s tin wallet, handmade to protect his freedom papers.

“Because you have these collections,…

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