AMERICA250 Celebration

7:18 pm


Federal Celebration of the American Revolution.

American ’semiquincentinneal’ celebration… 250 years since the American Revolution.

  • Semi (half) quincentinneal (500 years) = 250 years.
  • I like quarter millennial or quarter-millennium celebration better…but that’s me

I think a bunch of the planning for the celebrations has been damaged by the Covid paroxysm…perhaps we’ll get back to this.  I did see some increase in activity on this with more states getting on board in 2021.

I gleaned the following from the 2019 report to the President

  • Executive Director of the Commission, Frank Giordano, at  (Giordano is from NJ…wonder if anyone we know knows him?).
  • America250 has several task forces: Art, Culture, Sports & Entertainment; Civics & Civic Engagement; History & Education; Innovation, Science & Entrepreneurism; International; Parks, Preservation & Public Places; Veterans; and Youth.
  • Consistent with the legislative intent of Public Law 114-196, Section 9(a), America250 expects significant fundraising from private and corporate sources – ultimately in order to cover an overall projected cost of $300 to $500 million. Currently, America250 is negotiating with several major American corporations to become national corporate sponsors at a multi-million-dollar level over the next six years. 

From the America250 2020 report to Congress:

  • America 250 created a visionary framework embracing three common themes—Educate, Engage, and Unite
  • As of December 1, 2020, Semiquincentennial entities have been created in eight (8) states: Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia; legislation has been introduced in three (3) additional states: Alabama, New York, and Massachusetts; and significant interest has been expressed in the seven (7) following states and territory: Delaware, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • Congress was generous to provide $500,000 in Federal funding for (FY) 2019 for the Commission. This amount was increased to an appropriation of $3.3 million in FY 2020. For FY 2021, we are currently working with House and Senate Appropriators for $8 million. The Commission is on record of needing a no-year Federal funding baseline of $8 million 8 a year through FY 2026 to fully realize and discharge its mandate given by Congress. Federal funding will represent roughly 15-20% of the anticipated funding requirements of America 250 through 2026.

These states relevant to Journeyman Chronicles have commissions (see ):

  • Georgia          The Georgia Historical Society plans to provide programming exploring the meaning of American identity at 250 years. They are preparing to launch the effort in 2021, five years in advance of the anniversary. 
  • New Jersey     New Jersey passed legislation in June 2018 charging the New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) with preparing for the Semiquincentennial and calling for a $500,000 annual appropriation for ten years. NJHC selected Crossroads of the American Revolution as their non-profit partner in October 2018. The NJHC hired a public historian to develop history programming for the anniversary, and Crossroads selected consultants to undertake a comprehensive capital needs assessment of the more than 140 sites in the state that have connections to the Revolution. The NJHC is also undertaking a comprehensive survey of K-12 history education in the state.
  • North Carolina          North Carolina has established a statewide planning committee for the 250th and devised an initial list of commemoration activities for the state. Statewide themes are to include “Revolutionary North Carolina” and “When Are We US?”
  • Pennsylvania             In 2018, the state formed the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial. That commission has discussed an ambitious effort to commemorate the anniversary in all counties in the state. They have also expressed the goal to educate all citizens of the Commonwealth about the state and nation’s history up to the present, and to offer educational grant opportunities for young people.
  • South Carolina          In 2018, South Carolina established the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission, providing the commission the authority to plan and execute the state’s observance of the 250th anniversary. The commission brings together representatives from the state’s Department of Archives and History and Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, in addition to other appointees.
  • Virginia          An informal, statewide planning group, RevolutionaryVA250, meets twice a year to collaborate and coordinate efforts. The group has been recognized through resolutions by the state’s House of Delegates and State Senate. They are also working with national planning partners and a state tourism organization to conduct audience research.