On December 31, U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed into law legislation that expands the reach of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, adding a justice of the Supreme Court, along with the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Chairperson for National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The legislation also expands the geographic reach of the Commission’s meetings outside Philadelphia, creating greater opportunities to convene across the country and connect with Americans in all fifty states. In addition, the Commission shall have the exclusive right to use, and allow others to use, the intellectual property of the commission, including logos and other official marks.
“America 250 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage all Americans in a celebration of the American spirit as we reflect on our past and look with hope to the future,” said Daniel M. DiLella, Chairman of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. “Today’s legislation underscores the importance of this initiative, which will be the largest and most inclusive commemoration in American history with the opportunity to produce more than 100,000 national and grassroots programs, attract billions of dollars in resources, and promote tourism for cities and states across the country.”
“The year 2026 marks the 250th anniversary of American independence. The Semiquincentennial will serve to bring our nation together as we celebrate America’s history while also looking forward towards a better future,” said Senator Pat Toomey. “Pennsylvania plays an important part in America’s origin story, but a celebration this historic must be a national event, a point this legislation highlights. With the signing of this bill, the Semiquincentennial is poised to become an epic celebration of America’s history engaging Americans from all across the country.”
“I’m pleased we were able to work together on a bipartisan basis to get this bill passed,” said Congressman Dwight Evans. “The America 250 celebration will be a unique opportunity to remind everyone of our history and hopefully to bring Americans together around shared ideals.”
In late December, the House and Senate reached an agreement on a $1.4 trillion omnibus budget bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The budget includes $8 million for the Commission, to help with preparation for the America 250 celebration culminating in 2026. The President signed the bill into law on December 29, 2020.
More information about the Commission’s vision and approach to programming can be found in Inspiring the American Spirit, its report submitted to the President on December 31, 2019.