Commemorating America’s Semiquincentennial

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.

View AASLH’s resources to support 250th planning.

View the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission’s Report to the President.

View the 2020 report on the status of 250th planning.

Coordinating Committee

AASLH has organized a coordinating committee to facilitate communication and coordination among national stakeholders as preparations for the Semiquincentennial proceed. The committee includes the following members:

  • Sara Cureton (Chair), New Jersey Historical Commission
  • Jeff Allen, Federation of State Humanities Councils
  • Jody Blankenship, Indiana Historical Society
  • Jim Campi, American Battlefield Trust
  • Kevin Cherry, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Association of African American Museums
  • Sylvia Cyrus, Association for the Study of African American Life and History
  • John Dichtl, American Association for State and Local History
  • Laura Dominquez, [email protected] in Heritage Conservation
  • W. Eric Emerson, Council of State Archivists
  • Susan Feller, Assoc. of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums
  • Cathy Gorn, National History Day
  • Kevin Gover, National Museum of the American Indian
  • Linnea Grim, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
  • Jim Grossman, American Historical Association
  • Anthea Hartig, National Museum of American History
  • Richard M. Josey, Collective Journeys, LLC
  • Stephen Kidd, National Humanities Alliance
  • Jennifer Kilmer, Washington State Historical Society
  • Gavin Kleespies, Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Turkiya Lowe, National Park Service
  • Maud Lyon, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Brian Martin, American Battlefield Trust
  • Jeani O’Brien, National Council on Public History
  • Larry Paska, National Council for the Social Studies
  • Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Creative Strategies 360°
  • Barry Szczesny, American Alliance of Museums
  • Lee White, National Coalition for History
  • Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Goals

With the help of the 250th anniversary task force, AASLH has developed broad aspirations for what the 250th anniversary can accomplish for the field and for the public. These goals are:

After holding listening sessions about these goals at major conferences, including AASLH, National Council on Public History, Association of African American Museums, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, AASLH has convened working groups to help consider them more deeply. These working groups will provide ideas and action plans to help guide the work of the field. Some working groups have already outlined recommendations (linked above) while others are continuing in their work.

250th Anniversary Resources

For the past several years, AASLH has produced a range of resources help historical organizations and history professionals prepare for the 250th anniversary. For the latest information—including reports on the status of planning, links to state-level 250th commissions, webinar recordings, blog posts, and more—visit our 250th Anniversary Resource page.

Reports

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.