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Sun, 03.07.1993

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute Opens

*On this date in 1993, the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute (NVRMI) opened. 

They envisioned a space in Selma, Alabama, that captured the essence of struggles to empower America's people through the ballot box. Most of the founders were participants or supporters of the Voting Rights Movement of the 60s, which culminated in Selma, Alabama, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. There, people were brutally attacked by officers of the law as they marched to protest the death of Jimmy Lee Jackson and to demand the right to vote.  

Following this tragic event and the monumental Selma to Montgomery march, the Voting Rights Act was passed. "My country is of thee, sweet land of liberty" gained new meaning for millions of black, brown, and red people who had been America's stepchildren.  Therefore, it is fitting and proper that the National Voting Rights Museum be located in Selma, Alabama, near the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the cornerstone of the contemporary voting and human dignity struggles.  The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute offer America and the world the opportunity to learn past lessons to ensure we will not make the same mistakes in the 21st century and beyond.

The Museum showcases the gains that came each time the door of democracy opened to the locked out. The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute is a look back, vision, and reminder of what America can and will be.  The Museum was founded and organized by grassroots people with little money but a tremendous vision and commitment. 

The NVRMI Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee is an outdoor festival held on the first weekend in March. This festival is an adventure into the past and future of Selma's possibilities. The music, arts, exhibits, dancing, and storytelling of Jubilee capture the spirit and lives of this historical time.  NVRMI also has a Living History Project, Mountain Top Jubilee Tours, Weekly Story Telling, Exhibits of Personal Collections, Community Forums, Film Festivals, and Bed & Board. 

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