|For Immediate Release:
||February 28, 2006|
|Contact(s):||David Barna, 202.208.6843
Elaine Sevy, 202.208.6843
|National Park Service Announces Addition of Two New Units
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Park Service (NPS) recently added two new sites, both of which contribute to the African American legacy. The addition of these two new units increases the total number of units from 388 to 390. The new sites are Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. and African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City.
“I am very excited to announce the addition of these two sites to the National Park System,” said National Park Service Director, Fran Mainella. “During this celebration of Black History Month I think it is both appropriate and admirable that these two sites, equally of great significance, become our newest units.”
Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site was established by publication of a notice in the Federal Register on February 27, 2006. The Historic Site, was the Washington, D.C. home of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The Victorian 1890s red brick rowhouse sits in the middle of the District’s Shaw neighborhood, a richly historic area currently undergoing a renaissance. Dr. Woodson was instrumental in establishing African American history as an academic discipline and is best known for establishing Negro History Week in 1926, now recognized as African American History Month or (Black History Month). In 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian trained at Harvard and a D.C. Public School teacher, founded the Association for the Study of Life and History, now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
In June 2002, the NPS issued a special resource study of the Carter G. Woodson Home documenting the significance of the Woodson home and evaluating various options for future management of the site by the NPS. Dr. Woodson’s place is secure in American history as a preeminent educator, historian, and the father of African American history.
The site of the African Burial Ground National Monument was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1993 and as a National Monument by Presidential Proclamation on February 27, 2006. President Bush signed the Proclamation under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary of enactment this year. The site was re-discovered in 1991, when construction began on a Federal office building in lower Manhattan. Building planners were aware that the site once held a cemetery, but assumed there would be no vestige of the past still to be found. Instead, 20 feet below the surface, lay the remains of free and enslaved Africans, and in October 2003, the remains of 419 were re-interred. Archeologists confirmed the site to be of unprecedented national and international historical significance. The African Burial Ground is part of an original, seven-acre site containing the estimated remains of approximately 15,000 people, making it the largest and oldest African cemetery excavated in North America.
In September 2003, the NPS entered into an Interagency Agreement with the General Services Administration (GSA), to prepare a report on alternatives for the future management, operations, and interpretation of the African Burial Ground, as well as selecting an appropriate memorial design. The draft report was released in September 2005, and the public comment period concluded in November. In April 2005, the NPS and GSA formally announced Rodney Leon as the designer who will create the African Burial Ground permanent memorial. He was selected from five designers from the 61 applicants who submitted proposals in 1998.
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