To the opening of the newest Smithsonian museum this weekend: the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum on the National Mall has been in the works for 13 years and a desire of many for decades. A throng of 20,000 people is expected to help dignitaries dedicate the $540 million museum almost in the shadow of the Washington Monument on Saturday. The museum tells the history of the African American people in astounding detail over collections on three floors. Many of the artifacts were donated by families of notable civil rights figures, athletes and artists, and include items from every era — whips from the slave trade to glossy magazine covers adorned with President Barack Obama’s smile. The museum’s opening could perhaps not come at a better time as racial tension continues to rise. African Americans’ story here did not begin as a joyous one, but over time they have contributed immeasurably to nation’s social fabric. From what we have seen already of the museum and its exhibits, the newest Smithsonian does an outstanding job of telling the community’s important story.
To Elkton finally fixing the long-running issue of its municipal election date, meaning town voters will no longer have to worry about cutting short their Memorial Day vacations. During Wednesday’s town meeting, the board of commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that moves the town’s election date and filing deadline for candidates to an earlier date. Previously, the town’s election was held on the fourth Tuesday in May with the filing deadline two weeks before the election. Now, the date of the election is the second Tuesday in May, while the filing deadline is 60 days before the election date. It’s an issue the town has discussed several times in the past, but never actually addressed. Kudos for Mayor Alt and the board for finally doing the sensible thing even though it may come with some growing pains.