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People, Locations, Episodes

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. 

Located in Selma, Alabama, they envisioned a space that captured the essence of struggles to empower America's people through the ballot box. Most of the founders were participants or supporters to 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 tis of thee, sweet land of liberty" gained new meaning for millions of black, brown and red people who had been America's stepchildren.  It is, therefore, fitting and proper that the National Voting Rights Museum be located in Selma, Alabama near the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the corner stone of the contemporary struggles for voting and human dignity.  The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute offers America and the world the opportunity to learn the lessons of the past to assure 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, but also a vision and reminder of what America can and will be.  The Museum was founded and organized by grassroots people with little money but with 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 Selma 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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