Commemorating America’s Semiquincentennial

In 2026, the United States will commemorate the 250th anniversary (the “Semiquincentennial”) of its founding. This anniversary presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to share the whole history of our nation and make progress in becoming a more perfect union. It also offers a chance to transform and strengthen the history field, preparing it to thrive for decades to come.

To help achieve these goals, AASLH provides leadership and resources for history practitioners and organizations of all types and sizes. We are monitoring national, regional, and local commemoration plans, advocating for greater funding, convening stakeholders across the nation, and developing publications, workshops, and events to assist those preparing for the anniversary.

We hope all people in all places will join in commemorating the 250th. By sharing the whole history of our country, we can ensure history organizations continue to cultivate a sense of belonging in their communities and inform important civic conversations. Whether you’re deep in planning or just getting started, we’re here to help!

AASLH’s 250th anniversary programs and resources are supported in part by a major grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. You can learn more here.

Field Guide and Themes

To encourage 250th anniversary programming that addresses the full sweep of our nation’s history and is relevant to present concerns, AASLH has developed Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, a resource with guiding themes to help the history community prepare for 2026. Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and created with the help of dozens of leading scholars, museum professionals, and public historians, these themes can provide cohesiveness to a multi-faceted, grassroots commemoration and entry-points for organizations all over the United States.

By exploring common questions in different contexts, this anniversary can help us advance a more widely shared story about our nation’s history, one that acknowledges its many tensions and ambiguities and that informs our present and future. Watch the 2021 launch event for the Making History at 250.

The guide’s five themes are:

  • Unfinished Revolutions
  • Power of Place
  • We the People
  • American Experiment
  • Doing History

Read the guide in full to learn more about these themes.

The English version of the field guide has been sent to 20,000 practitioners nationwide. Thirteen thousand of these copies were made possible by a second printing funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. Translation services for the Spanish version of the field guide have been provided by Baker Cruz Services.

Programs and Resources

AASLH is producing a range of tools, programs, and events to help history organizations and practitioners prepare for the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026. You can find the upcoming and highlighted programs and resources below, but we encourage you to visit our 250th Anniversary Resource page for more.

Past Programs

Key Resources

External Funding Sources

Funding opportunities are emerging for projects and initiatives related to the Semiquincentennial. This page will be updated as new funding resources become available.

Over forty U.S. states and territories have already established commissions or similar entities to lead preparations for the 250th anniversary, with several more under active consideration. These commissions will play an important role in determining the scope and direction of the commemoration, interfacing with the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission and America250, recognizing local programming, and distributing funding. These commissions take different forms, but most opt for one of two approaches: 1) directing an existing agency/organization to lead preparations, or 2) creating a new commission to plan and administer the state’s commemoration, with a combination of ex officio members and appointees.

This section contains links to commission (or equivalent) websites or, in cases where there is no known web presence, links to the commission’s founding legislation or executive action. The latter can help direct inquiries to relevant agencies and organizations named in state action. For questions, please contact rosenberg@aaslh.org.

Last update: February 28, 2024

Pending Action

Existing Commissions (44 states and territories)

Encourage Your Congressional Delegation to Join the America250 Caucus

Congressional lawmakers who join the America250 Caucus agree to work together to commemorate America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 and promote national unity and civic engagement. The caucus could be an avenue for getting federal funding for 250th programming in the states. The caucus also provides a forum for members to support the work of history organizations and highlight the importance of our shared history. Encourage your members of Congress to join this important caucus!