Seattle's Wing Luke museum now part of Nat'l Park Service

SEATTLE - President Obama sent a special delegation to Seattle on Sunday to put a local museum in the national spotlight.

The Wing Luke Museum of American Experience is now officially part of the national park system. And on Sunday it also became the launching pad for a new federal study.

The museum is full of artifacts that spell out the Asian-American experience - and now, all this rich history will be preserved for generations - as part of the National Park Service.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar traveled to Seattle for the ceremony - something that Washington state leaders pushed for every step of the way.

"One of our big pushes has been tourism, because that's one of the most promising areas for economic growth and jobs here in America," says Salazar. "So this will help Seattle, and it will help Washington."

"This really recognizes the tremendous cultural and historical contributions of the Asian-American community," adds U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Touring the museum gives visitors a sense of what life was like in Seattle from the early 1900s until now. And it personifies everything Wing Luke himself fought for - from urban renewal and preservation to civil rights and racial equality.

"And the things he really kind of pioneered or had a passion for in changing, I think - the way people were treated and accepted in the community," says museum spokesman Donald Wong.

And now, as part of Luke's legacy, a new federal study was also launched Sunday - by order of Secretary Salazar and President Obama - to look deeply into Asian American and Pacific Island heritage and forever recognize the struggles and accomplishments of minorities in America.