Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Norton joined a list of other notable officials and dignitaries in the city on July 18 at the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of the African American Civil War Museum.

The new location, situated at 1925 Vermont Ave., N.W., is directly across from the African American Civil War Memorial that commemorates the story of the 209,145 Black soldiers who participated in the Civil War.

Many notable figures were honored at the event during a special awards ceremony including U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., among many others.

The original location of the museum opened on U Street in 1999 and only had about 700 square feet. According to the Associated Press, the new facility received a $5 million renovation and features a media center and research area.