A federal commission submitted a report calling for a national museum devoted to American Latino History on the National Mall.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed the commission's call to build a national museum devoted to American Latino art, history and culture next to the Capitol as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
"My own view is America's strength in the future is dependent upon America being inclusive of all of its people," Salazar said. "In the United States today, we have about 50 million-plus Americans who are of Latino descent."
Many contributions of the nation's Latinos, dating back to before the nation's founding, have never been recognized, and they deserve a space on the National Mall among the nation's top cultural attractions, he said.
The commission recommends Congress provide half the cost and with the rest coming through private donations. The total price would be $600,000.
A 1994 Smithsonian report entitled "Willful Neglect" found U.S. hispanics were the only major contributor to American civilization not permanently recognized at the museum complex.
President George W. Bush signed legislation establishing the Latino museum commission in 2008, and President Barack Obama, along with congressional leaders, appointed a 23-member commission.
Published at 1:42 PM EST on May 5, 2011
Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington