Freedom Center voted #3 history museum in the country

CINCINNATI – The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has again been voted one of the country’s top three history museums. USA TODAY announced the results of their 10Best Readers’ Choice awards today, revealing that the Freedom Center had finished third among the twenty finalists from across the nation following a four-week online vote. This is the second consecutive year the Freedom Center has been nominated, finishing in the top three both times.

“We are honored to again be recognized for the museum experience we offer, which is a testament to the enduring power and relevance of the stories we tell and the passion with which our team tells them,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “This is an honor we share with our entire community who has supported us over the past 18 years. It further establishes Cincinnati as a tourist destination and a city dedicated to the inclusive freedom our museum embodies.”

Since its opening in 2004, the Freedom Center has shared stories of freedom’s heroes from the era of the Underground Railroad to modern day. It is symbolically located on the banks of the Ohio River, where many enslaved people took their first steps on free soil after self-liberating through the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s. The Freedom Center honors that legacy through immersive, thought-provoking exhibits, programming and films to be a convener of dialogue around issues of freedom, the denial of freedom, systemic racism, implicit bias and modern-day enslavement. During a visit, guests are introduced to freedom conductors including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, John Rankin, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Box Brown, Margaret Garner and the millions whose names have long been forgotten.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Freedom Center is home to the Open Your Mind: Understanding Implicit Bias Lab that educates and reveals the unconscious biases that prevent us from being truly inclusive and ways to overcome them. In 2022, the museum launched the Freedom Film Series in partnership with LADD Inc. and the Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival which uses film to introduce issues of freedom and unfreedom, followed by panel discussions with experts, activists and filmmakers. The Freedom Center’s ongoing Unmasking the Realities series has expanded conversations on inequities in healthcare, policing, nutrition, mental health resources and more to a national audience through virtual panel discussions with a range of local and national experts.

To ensure its galleries and its stories are accessible to the entire community, the Freedom Center partnered with the Fifth Third Foundation to start Fifth Third Community Days, providing free admission on the fifth and third Sunday each month, plus MLK Day and Juneteenth, through 2026.

For more information about the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, visit