WASHINGTON – Excitement is building now less than 48 hours away from the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The genesis for the museum began more than 100 years ago with black Civil War veterans formulating plans for a monument to African-American contributions to our country.
"It took, however, until the 21st Century for us to actually get the formal bill in Congress in 2003," said David Skorton of the Smithsonian Institution. "To actually develop the mandate to have the National Museum of African American History and Culture."
Thousands of people are expected to fill the nation's capital for the museum's opening this weekend.
That includes Dwayne Tucker and Andrea Dixon who traveled from San Diego.
"Collectively, as a group of citizens, in this country we need to have something that everybody can come, know our history, learn about our history, our culture," said Tucker.
"We're one," said Dixon. "And it's important to know that one culture is just as important as the other and we're just sharing our history and what we as a people brought to the United States."
Several Houstonians will be part of the ceremonies this weekend. They include Olympians Carl Lewis and Simone Manuel and also ballerina Lauren Anderson.