Text: S.1233 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-238 (06/22/2004)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 238]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ238.108]

[[Page 669]]

        NATIONAL GREAT BLACK AMERICANS COMMEMORATION ACT OF 2004

[[Page 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 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 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 concured in House 
                                        amendment.

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