A museum celebrating the legacy of baseball player and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson opened in New York City on July 26 after years in the making.
Robinson’s widow Rachel, who celebrated her 100th birthday last week, cut the ribbon at a ceremony to mark the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum on Canal and Varick Streets near Holland Tunnel in Lower Manhattan.
Featuring thousands of artifacts, including his team jersey, trophies, and Presidential Medal of Freedom, the 19,380-square-foot museum chronicles the life of Robinson who made history when he became the first Black Major League Baseball player in 1947.
The museum will open to the public on Sept. 5.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation first announced the museum in 2008 but its opening was stalled due to a lack of funding and pandemic-related issues.
The foundation was able to get the project back on track when it raised $38 million for the construction of the venue.
Robinson was also a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement, a political advisor, and the first African American vice president of a Fortune 500 company.
The museum is the first in New York City that is dedicated largely to the civil rights movement, according to the New York Times.
“Some of the things we grew up with now have huge historical significance, and the museum is a place for everyone to see it, and much, much more,” Robinson’s son David told the New York Times.
“If we don’t have a remembrance of that struggle, we lose touch with a significant period of American history that can help guide us today and it is a tribute to all the people who have taken my mother’s desire and made it happen,” David also said.
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