In 1988, the Jesse Helms Center became the official repository of Senator Helms’ papers, an interactive museum where people young and old can learn, and a hub for many engaging programs. The A.J. Fletcher building opened in 2001 and contains a state-of-the-art archives storage facility. We also created a Digital Collection which showcases some of the highlights from our vast archival collection.
Why WINGATE, NC?
Jesse A. Helms was a five-term U.S. Senator from North Carolina. As a young man, Helms received a scholarship to attend Wingate College, now Wingate University. Therefore, according to Senator Helms, there was no better place for him to donate his senatorial and personal papers.
Miracle of America
Around the same time, friends and family began urging Helms to consider creating a non-profit center. Senator Helms agreed and had only one directive, don’t let the Center become a “dusty old museum.” Helms was also adamant that the Center create programs based on traditional American values and principled leadership. He wanted opportunities for young people to learn why he believed the free enterprise system was the “miracle of America.”
For almost 30 years, the Jesse Helms Center has proudly honored Senator Helms’ wishes. We continue promoting our nation’s founding principles and are grateful to all of our supporters. The Jesse Helms Center receives no government funding, instead garnering all support from individuals, foundations and businesses who believe in the future of America.