Recorded Webinar: Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial

Recorded On: 07/01/2021

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Webinar Description

In just five years, the United States will commemoration the 250th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence. The Semiquincentennial offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to renew public engagement with history, to transform and strengthen our field, and to help audiences reflect upon the full complexity and diversity of our nation’s past. 

That’s why AASLH is thrilled to announce that on July 1, we will publish Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, a new resource to help the history community prepare for 2026. Developed with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in collaboration with colleagues across the country, this publication will feature guiding themes, big-picture goals, and inspiring ideas to help you consider how you can contribute to the 250th commemoration. Whether you’ve already begun planning or are still unsure if and how your community will take part, Making History at 250 will help us all consider how we can  fulfill the potential of this anniversary. 

Tweet about the event and the Field Guide using #MakingHistory250

With remarks from:

Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Association of African American Museums

John R. Dichtl, American Association for State and Local History 

Anthea Hartig, Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Crosby Kemper III, Institute for Museum and Library Services

Adam Wolfson, National Endowment for the Humanities 

Roundtable Conversation with:

Terry Brown, America 250 Foundation / National Park Service

Sara Cureton, New Jersey Historical Commission

Aimee Newell, Museum of the American Revolution / AASLH Small Museums Committee


RECORDED DATE: July 1, 2021


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Recording and Captioning

A transcript is provided with the recording.

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Terry E. Brown

Director of Federal Partnerships

America 250 Foundation / National Park Service


Terry E. Brown is on special assignment to the U.S. Semiquincentennial Comission serving as the Director of Federal Partnerships. He is the former Superintendant of Fort Monroe National Monument and a long-time veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), with more than 30 years in federal service. Under his leaderhsip at Ft. Monroe, innovation fluorished across all program areas, including science, interpretation, natural resources, law enforcement, cultural resources, and administration. Terry helped organize and lead the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English North America, which culminated with the joint ribbon-cutting on a Fort Monroe Visitor Center and a Healing Day Ceremony. He served as a liaison to the Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees, and in 2018 he was selected by the Secretary of Interior to serve as a member of the Federal 400 Years of African American History Commission. He is the recipient of several NPS awards and honors. 

Sara Cureton

Executive Director

New Jersey Historical Commission

Sara Cureton joined the staff of the New Jersey Historical Commission in 2004 and now serves as its director. She also holds the position of director of the New Jersey Cultural Trust, a title she assumed in 2008. In both positions she oversees funding programs that support cultural organizations and activities across New Jersey and beyond. Her career began with positions at several historic sites in the Garden State, working primarily on interpretation and historic preservation projects. As director of Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City she developed interpretive programming and oversaw a $3.4 million restoration of New Jersey’s tallest historic beacon. Active in professional organizations, she has served on the boards of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, the New Jersey Association of Museums, and South Jersey Cultural Alliance. Ms. Cureton earned a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University, and an M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of York in the U.K. She currently serves as the chair of AASLH’s Coordinating Committee for the 250th.

Aimee E. Newell

Director of Collections and Exhibitions

Museum of the American Revolution / AASLH Small Museums Committee


Aimee E. Newell is the Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Previously, she worked as the Executive Director of the Luzerne County Historical Society (Wilkes-Barre, PA) and of the Stonington Historical Society (in Connecticut). She has held curatorial positions at the Nantucket Historical Association, Old Sturbridge Village and the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. Newell has a PhD in History from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and an MBA from Suffolk University. She currently serves on AASLH’s Small Museums Committee and the Standards and Ethics Committee.

John Dichtl

President and CEO

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)


John Dichtl became AASLH President & CEO in 2015. Prior to that he was the executive director of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) for nine years, and worked for the Organization of American Historians for fourteen years as deputy director and in several other roles. John received his MA and PhD in early American history from Indiana University, and from 2006 to 2015 was an adjunct faculty member of the history department at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Before graduate school he worked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a 2004 graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, a program that stems from an AASLH partnership with the Indiana Historical Society and other organizations. John helped to found the History Relevance Campaign, the International Federation for Public History, and is active in the National Coalition for History.

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