USA 250th Anniversary Resources

The United States will commemorate its 250th (or “Semiquincentennial”) anniversary in 2026. AASLH is providing key leadership for the history community as we all prepare for this once-in-a-generation event. We are monitoring national, regional, and state commemoration plans as they develop, serving as a clearinghouse of information for history organizations and practitioners at the local, state, and national levels, particularly through the publication of an annual report on the status of commemoration efforts. We are in communication with other national initiatives, including the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, to help ensure that the values and goals of the history community are represented well in national commemoration efforts. We have organized a national coordinating committee, facilitating communication and collaboration among major organizations, institutions, and agencies. Finally, we are outlining major goals for the anniversary that can help align the work of a diverse and dynamic field over the next several years.

On December 31, 2019, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission delivered a report to the President outlining their recommendations for the “America 250” commemoration. View the full report here. You can read a summary of the report here.

Annual Reports by AASLH

The reports below detail the status of planning across the country. AASLH gathers the information each Spring and publishes the report each Summer. 

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  • AASLH 250th Planning Status Report (2020)

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  • AASLH 250th Planning Status Report (2019)

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  • AASLH 250th Planning Status Report (2018)

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State Commissions

State Commissions

Across the country, individual states are establishing state commissions and other entities to lead preparations for the 250th anniversary and manage their relationship with national planning partners. From state to state, these “state commissions” take different forms. This section contains the legislation or other documents related to the creation of these entities.

  • Alabama created the "Alabama USA Semiquincentennial Commission" in February 2021. The Commission places Alabama's "American Village" campus as the center of the state's commemoration effort. Commission members will be appointed by the governor and leaders of the state legislature, with the possibility of a separate advisory committee that includes representatives from the state's history and tourism organizations and agencies.
  • Kentucky used executive action to create a state 250th commission in 2020.
  • Maryland established a 250th anniversary commission through an executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan in January 2021. The Commission will include up to 30 people, including the state archivist, state historic preservation officer, and chairs of commissions on African American history and culture and Indian affairs, among others.
  • Michigan designated the Historical Society of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Center as their lead organizations for 250th planning through executive action in late 2020.
  • New Jersey passed legislation in 2018 requiring the existing New Jersey Historical Commission to establish a program for commemorating the Semiquincentennial and permitting them to enter into a public-private partnership with a nonprofit to plan and carry out that work. It also appropriates $500,000 annually through 2028 for that purpose.
  • North Carolina created a 250th committee organized by the state’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Office of Archives and History. This committee was designated as entity responsible for 250th planning in the state by executive action in October 2019.
  • Pennsylvania created the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial, or “America250PA,” in 2018. The commission consists of two members from each chamber of the legislature (one from each party), in addition to twenty-four private citizens, four each appointed by the minority and majority leader of each chamber and the Governor. It also includes several ex officio members, including the state’s Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer; the secretaries of Education, Transportation, Conservation and Natural Resources; the chairs of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; and several others.
  • South Carolina in 2019 formed the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission. The Commission includes fifteen members, including the Governor, Chairman of the Archives and History Commission, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (all ex officio); and four members each appointed by the Senate, House of Representatives, and Governor. The legislation requires that at least one of the members appointed by the Senate, House, and Governor be “of American-American descent.” It further stipulates that “This proper observance of the Sestercentennial must include the role of persons of African-American descent in the Revolutionary War.”
  • Tennessee created the Tennessee Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial in 2019. Attached to the Department of Tourist Development, the commission includes the heads of the states major historical and museum institutions (state historical society, state historical commission, state museum, state library and archives) and several others, including the commissioner of tourist development, representatives from the Tennessee chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, the executive director of the East Tennessee Historical Society, and two members from each chamber of the legislature.
  • Utah passed a resolution in 2020 recognizing the U.S. Semiquincentennial and requesting that the Governor organizes a state commission to observe the anniversary.
  • Vermont created a 250th anniversary commission through an executive order from Gov. Phil Scott. The Vermont Commission will include up to 14 members, including the state historic preservation officer, state librarian, representative of the Vermont Historical Society, along with members of the public appointed by the governor, stipulated to include a representative from a Vermont history museum, a Revolutionary War historian, a Revolutionary War reenactment group, and a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.
  • Virginia has a state 250th commission that recognizes a state agency (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation) and private organization (Virginia Museum of History and Culture) as the state's lead entities for 250th planning. It includes representatives of both organizations, other private citizens, and several ex-officio members.