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Over the past eight years, the Preserve America program has continued to honor efforts by local communities and organizations with volunteer programs to expand knowledge about their role in America’s diverse history, increase participation in the preservation of heritage assets, and support the economic vitality of communities through heritage tourism and contemporary uses for historic assets. With the most recent designation of Pompano Beach, Florida, on December 16, First Lady Michelle Obama signed certificates designating 170 Preserve America Communities across the United States, bringing the total number of communities to 906 nationwide. She also recognized 47 volunteer groups as Preserve America Stewards for their care of local historic resources, for a total of 58 since the program’s inception.
Last month, ACHP Member Jordan Tannenbaum attended a ceremony in honor of the 905th Preserve America Community, the Orange Mound neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. The community was founded in 1890 as the first subdivision in the U.S. designed specifically for African Americans. Tannenbaum and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen joined hundreds of advocates, community leaders, schoolchildren, and members of the public at Mount Pisgah CME Church in Memphis to celebrate the designation. Attendees of the ceremony were treated to music and dance performances by local ensembles from the Blues City Cultural Center and Melrose High School. Tannenbaum read the First Lady’s letter announcing the designation, to the crowd’s delight.
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