[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 118, 108th Congress, 2nd Session] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov] 118 STAT. 670 Public Law 108-238 108th Congress An Act To authorize assistance for the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and Justice Learning Center. NOTE: June 22, 2004 - [S. 1233] Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, NOTE: National Great Black Americans Commemoration Act of 2004. Maryland. SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``National Great Black Americans Commemoration Act of 2004''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds the following: (1) Black Americans have served honorably in 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, 2 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. [[Page 671]] 118 STAT. 671 (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 century. (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 advisers. (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. [[Page 672]] 118 STAT. 672 SEC. 3. ASSISTANCE FOR NATIONAL GREAT BLACKS IN WAX MUSEUM AND JUSTICE 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 be used only for carrying out programs relating to civil rights and juvenile justice through the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and Justice Learning Center. (b) Grant Requirements.--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 programs referred to in subsection (a). (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000, to remain available through the end of fiscal year 2009. Approved June 22, 2004. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1233: --------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-372, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Resources). CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: Vol. 149 (2003): July 14, considered and passed Senate. Vol. 150 (2004): June 1, considered and passed House, amended. June 3, Senate concurred in House amendment.