Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
National Museum of the American Latino Commissioners join Secretary Salazar, Eva Longoria and Emilio Estefan to Celebrate Release of Final Report
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. — During separate ceremonies today at the White House and on Capitol Hill, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined bipartisan members of the National Museum of the American Latino (NMAL) Commission and activist/actress Eva Longoria and Emilio Estefan to celebrate the delivery of the NMAL Final Report to President Obama and Congressional leaders.
“Today marks a milestone for the rich and diverse history of our nation, and is a proud moment for the Latino Community,” said Secretary Salazar. “With the creation of a national museum rooted here, in our nation's capital, the contributions of Latinos will forever be recognized and woven into the American story. I thank the Commission for their thorough report and service to our country.”
Under the leadership of Chairman Henry R. Muñoz III, the congressionally-established and presidentially-appointed NMAL Commission was tasked to study the potential of a national museum dedicated to the art, culture, and history of the Latino Community in the United States. In the course of its work, the Commission consulted with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Capital Planning Commission, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and the Department of the Interior
“We provide to you a plan for a national museum that preserves and shares a vital part of our nation's heritage for the benefit of all people interested in the richness of the American experience,” said Chairman Henry R. Muñoz III. “Over the past year, we have undertaken an exhaustive process to prepare and deliver a comprehensive report in response to the Act of Congress that created the Commission. We have done this with the assistance of a long list of experts across the nation.”
Following the Commission's first meeting in 2009, the 23 members held eight public forums across the country to engage communities in a conversation which generated valuable input, ideas, and sentiments regarding the feasibility of an American Latino museum in Washington, D.C.
Since its conception, the creation of the National Museum of the American Latino has been a bipartisan effort. The authors of the original legislation in the House were U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra of California and U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, and in the Senate, former Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado, now serving as the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Senator Mel Martinez of Florida. The legislation was signed into law by former President George W. Bush on May 2008 and is being implemented by President Barack Obama.
The Commission's Final Report includes:
a plan of action for the establishment and maintenance of a national Latino museum in Washington, DC;
a fundraising strategy;
a report on availability of collections;
an examination of the impact on regional Latino-related museums;
a site assessment and recommendation;
a determination whether the museum should be located within the Smithsonian Institution;
a governance and organizational structure for the operation of the museum;
engagement with the American Latino community in the development of the plan.
To view a copy of the full report, please click here
To view a fact sheet and summary of the recommendations, please click here