United States 250th Anniversary

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 the 2019 report on the status of 250th planning.

Task Force

The AASLH 250th Anniversary Task Force includes the following volunteers:

  • Sara Cureton (Chair), New Jersey Historical Society
  • Jim Campi, American Battlefield Trust
  • Kevin Cherry, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Vedet Coleman, Association of African American Museums
  • John Dichtl, AASLH
  • Linnea Grim, Monticello
  • Kevin Gover, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
  • Anthea Hartig, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • Richard M. Josey, Jr., Collective Journeys, LLC
  • Jennifer Kilmer, Washington State Historical Society
  • Gavin Kleespies, Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Maud Lyon, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Brian Martin, American Battlefield Trust/America250
  • Larry Paska, National Council for Social Studies
  • Barry Szczesny, American Alliance of Museums
  • Lee White, National Coalition for History

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:

  • Make history relevant to every American, every day
  • Tell inclusive stories about the American past
  • Increase funding for history
  • Enhance the public’s engagement with history collections
  • Emphasize the importance of history education.

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. They began meeting in Summer 2019 and will begin sharing their work later this year.

250th Anniversary Resources

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