Every Collection has a Story. The Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.  

Opening of NMAI with Elders on Mall

November 28, 1989

President George Bush signs legislation to establish the National Museum of the American Indian, to be located on the National Mall between the National Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol. The Museum is scheduled to open in the mid- to late 1990's. The legislation also describes Smithsonian policy on the repatriation of American Indian human remains and associated funerary objects. The legislation also establishes the George Gustav Heye Center in the Alexander Hamilton Customs House in New York City and provides for a storage, conservation, and research facility at the Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland.

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