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H.R. 2425 (ih) To establish the Commission on Ocean Policy, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

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  1st Session
                                H. R. 2424

To authorize assistance for the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and 
                        Justice Learning Center.



                             June 11, 2003

    Mr. Cummings (for himself, Mr. Ballance, Mr. Boyd, Mr. Brady of 
  Pennsylvania, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. 
 Cardin, Mr. Cole, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Deutsch, Mr. Engel, Mr. Ford, Mr. 
    Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. Frost, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mrs. 
Christensen, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Houghton, Mr. 
 Hoyer, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, 
    Ms. Lee, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. McDermott, Ms. 
 Millender-McDonald, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. McNulty, Mr. Moran of 
      Virginia, Ms. Norton, Mr. Owens, Mr. Payne, Mr. Rangel, Mr. 
 Ruppersberger, Mr. Rush, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Mr. Scott of Georgia, Mr. 
Shimkus, Mr. Stearns, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, 
Mr. Van Hollen, Ms. Waters, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Towns, Ms. Carson of Indiana, 
  Mr. Watt, Ms. Watson, Mr. Kucinich, and Mr. Clyburn) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources, and 
   in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 


                                 A BILL

To authorize assistance for the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and 
                        Justice Learning Center.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


     This Act may be cited as the ``National Great Black Americans 
Commemoration Act of 2003''.


     Congress finds the following:
            (1) Black Americans have served honorably in the Congress, 
        in senior executive branch positions, in the law, the judiciary 
        and other fields, yet their record of service is not well known 
        by the public, is not included in school history lessons, and 
        is not adequately presented in the Nation's museums.
            (2) The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Inc. in Baltimore, 
        Maryland, a nonprofit organization, is the Nation's first wax 
        museum presenting the history of great Black Americans, 
        including those who have served in Congress, in senior 
        executive branch positions, in the law, the judiciary and other 
        fields, as well as others who have made significant 
        contributions to benefit the Nation.
            (3) The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Inc. plans to expand 
        its existing facilities to establish the National Great Blacks 
        in Wax Museum and Justice Learning Center, which is intended to 
        serve as a national museum and center for presentation of wax 
        figures and related interactive educational exhibits portraying 
        the history of great Black Americans.
            (4) The wax medium has long been recognized as a unique and 
        artistic means to record human history through preservation of 
        the faces and personages of people of prominence, and 
        historically, wax exhibits were used to commemorate noted 
        figures in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Rome, in 
        medieval Europe, and in the art of the Italian renaissance.
            (5) The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Inc. was founded in 
        1983 by Drs. Elmer and Joanne Martin, two Baltimore educators 
        who used their personal savings to purchase wax figures, which 
        they displayed in schools, churches, shopping malls, and 
        festivals in the mid-Atlantic region.
            (6) The goal of the Martins was to test public reaction to 
        the idea of a Black history wax museum and so positive was the 
        response over time that the museum has been heralded by the 
        public and the media as a national treasure.
            (7) The museum has been the subject of feature stories by 
        CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the Baltimore Sun, the Washington 
        Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Dallas 
        Morning News, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Afro 
        American Newspaper, Crisis, Essence Magazine, and others.
            (8) More than 300,000 people from across the Nation visit 
        the museum annually.
            (9) The new museum will carry on the time-honored artistic 
        tradition of the wax medium; in particular, it will recognize 
        the significant value of this medium to commemorate and 
        appreciate great Black Americans whose faces and personages are 
        not widely recognized.
            (10) The museum will employ the most skilled artisans in 
        the wax medium, use state-of-the-art interactive exhibition 
        technologies, and consult with museum professionals throughout 
        the Nation, and its exhibits will feature the following:
                    (A) Blacks who have served in the Senate and House 
                of Representatives of the United States, including 
                those who represented constituencies in Alabama, 
                Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North 
                Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia during the 19th 
                    (B) Blacks who have served in the judiciary, in the 
                Department of Justice, as prominent attorneys, in law 
                enforcement, and in the struggle for equal rights under 
                the law.
                    (C) Black veterans of various military engagements, 
                including the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen, and 
                the role of Blacks in the settlement of the western 
                United States.
                    (D) Blacks who have served in senior executive 
                branch positions, including members of Presidents' 
                Cabinets, Assistant Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries 
                of Federal agencies, and Presidential advisors.
                    (E) Other Blacks whose accomplishments and 
                contributions to human history during the last 
                millennium and to the Nation through more than 400 
                years are exemplary, including Black educators, 
                authors, scientists, inventors, athletes, clergy, and 
                civil rights leaders.
            (11) The museum plans to develop collaborative programs 
        with other museums, serve as a clearinghouse for training, 
        technical assistance, and other resources involving use of the 
        wax medium, and sponsor traveling exhibits to provide enriching 
        museum experiences for communities throughout the Nation.
            (12) The museum has been recognized by the State of 
        Maryland and the city of Baltimore as a preeminent facility for 
        presenting and interpreting Black history, using the wax medium 
        in its highest artistic form.
            (13) The museum is located in the heart of an area 
        designated as an empowerment zone, and is considered to be a 
        catalyst for economic and cultural improvements in this 
        economically disadvantaged area.

              LEARNING CENTER.

    (a) Assistance for Museum.--Subject to subsection (b), the Attorney 
General, acting through the Office of Justice Programs of the 
Department of Justice, shall, from amounts made available under 
subsection (c), make a grant to the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Inc. in 
Baltimore, Maryland, to pay the Federal share of the costs of expanding 
and creating the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and Justice 
Learning Center, including the cost of its design, planning, 
furnishing, and equipping.
    (b) Grant Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--To receive a grant under subsection (a), 
        the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Inc. shall submit to the 
        Attorney General a proposal for the use of the grant, which 
        shall include detailed plans for the design, construction, 
        furnishing, and equipping of the National Great Blacks in Wax 
        Museum and Justice Learning Center.
            (2) Federal share.--The Federal share of the costs 
        described in subsection (a) shall not exceed 25 percent.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $15,000,000, to remain available 
until expended.

Pages: 1

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