Writing & Language
In 1979, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, charged a committee with envisioning a museum where people could learn about the city's rich history in the civil rights movement. The committee went on to form the Civil Rights Institute Task Force. Under the guidance of its leaders, Odessa Woolfolk and Frank Young, the task force crafted a plan that included a mission statement, thematic program, and architectural design. However, in 1986, when the citizens of Birmingham were asked to approve funding for the museum, they voted against it. This wasn't the museum's only such setback: another funding request was voted down in 1988. It was another three years before the museum initiative received its funding, provided by the Historical Preservation Authority of Birmingham. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opened to the public in 1992 and has since hosted more than two million visitors.