Wal-Mart giving $5m to Smithsonian African American museum

Capital Land,Liz Farmer

Wal-Mart on Tuesday donated $5 million to the Smithsonian's planned National Museum of African American History and Culture, making the world's largest retailer a founding donor in the project.

The Smithsonian is trying to raise a total of $500 million in private donations to build the new museum. Congress has promised to fund the other $500 million.

The museum is slated to open in 2015 and will be built on the National Mall between the National Museum of American History and the Washington Monument. It is one of the few structures grandfathered in to a moratorium on new buildings on the National Mall.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation kicked off the fundraising effort for the new museum in 2009 with a $10 million donation. Wal-Mart also donated to the construction of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which was recently dedicated.

Wal-Mart plans on opening four stores in the District in the coming years.

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