President D. Roosevelt Disbands National Memorial Commission

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Summary

President Franklin D. Roosevelt disbanded the National Memorial Commission on June 17, 1933 and transferred its duties to the Department of the Interior. The abolishment of the commission project created a major setback in organizing the construction of the Memorial Building to honor African Americans. The next year, President Roosevelt rebuffed the Department of the Interior's $12,500 request for fundraising expenses, and a year after that, he rejected the idea of making the museum a Works Progress Administration construction project.

Subject

  • Roosevelt, Franklin D (Franklin Delano) 1882-1945
  • Works Progress Administration (WPA)
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • United States President (1933-1945 : Roosevelt)
  • United States Department of the Interior
  • National Memorial Commission 1929-1933

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • The National Memorial Commission was created by Public Resolution 107 of the 70th Congress and signed by President Coolidge on March 4, 1929. Composed of twelve Presidential appointees, the Director of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital, the Supervising Architect of the Treasury, and the Architect of the Capitol; the commission was charged with constructing "a memorial building suitable for meetings of patriotic organizations, public ceremonial events, the exhibition of art and inventions . . . as a tribute to the Negro's contribution to the achievements of America."
  • Hawkings, David. "How a Museum Struggled to Overcome Years of Gridlock: Story behind Newest Smithsonian Museum Echoes African American Struggle," Roll Call, last modified Sep 22, 2015, http://www.rollcall.com/news/hawkings/african-american-museum-struggled-overcome-years-gridlock-smithsonian#sthash.6Ptal4gX.dpuf.
  • "The Time Has Come: Report to the President and to the Congress". National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for Action Presidential Commission, last modified April 2, 2003, http://nmaahceis.si.edu/documents/The_Time_Has_Come.pdf.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

June 17, 1933

Topic

  • History museums
  • New Museums
  • History
  • African Americans--History

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