The Smithsonian Arts and Industries building has showcased the accomplishments of the 19th century American adventurers and entrepreneurs, but if things go according to plan it will soon showcase the rise of the Latino presence in politics. To demonstrate the growing political power of Latinos, Latino Legislators have drafted a legislation to showcase such a growth on the site of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.
In a statement released by Senator Robert Menendez, Menendez stated how the museum is a long awaited monument to the American Latino.
“A Museum of the American Latino would officially acknowledge our great history in the United States, and educate visitors about how the success of this country could not have been accomplished without the achievements of Hispanic Americans. We are in a new era in which Latinos are a much greater part of our national discourse…our numbers have grown as well as our significance to the story of America.”
Located beside the Smithsonian Castle, the Smithsonian Arts and Industries building is currently being updated for the public next year. The legislation for the proposed Latino museum building has no mention if the museum will be newly constructed along the buildings renovation.
The Smithsonian building has exhibited inventors and entrepreneurs who impacted this country through their works in the steel, mining, railroad, textile, ceramics, weapons, and medical industries. Past presidents and leaders such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin including inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and Henry Ford appeared in the building’s exhibits.
Along with these leaders and inventors, the federal government has added new museums to showcase how African-Americans and American Indians have contributed to this country’s growth. Joining in that tradition, Menendez’s new legislation will see to showcase some Latino entrepreneurs, inventors, and other made accomplishments to be showcased in a new Latino exhibit.
“Since our founding, Americans of Latino descent have played an important role in our nation’s story – in every chapter and at every turn … their lives and diverse contributions to our nation’s enduring prosperity remain largely unseen and untold,” said Menendez, and added that the museum, “would officially acknowledge our great history in the United States, and educate visitors about how the success of this country could not have been accomplished without the achievements of Hispanic Americans.”