First Freedom Center Opens In Downtown Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Officials are celebrating the opening of the First Freedom Center in Richmond.

The center opened Friday with a commemoration featuring Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.

Officials say the exhibition space features installations that delve into America’s experience with religious liberty from its European roots through today.

The center sits on the site where the Virginia General Assembly met in 1786 and passed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

The statute penned by Thomas Jefferson ensured the right of Americans to freely choose religion and is considered a precursor to the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Randy Wyckoff is the CEO of the First Freedom Center. He called the statute “Virginia’s gift to the world.”

The center is free and open to the public.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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