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Commemorating America’s Semiquincentennial

On July 1, AASLH published Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, a new resource with guiding themes and inspiring ideas to help you prepare for 2026. Whether you’re already planning or are still unsure if you’ll take part, this publication will help all of us fulfill the potential of this anniversary.  Complete the form above to download your free copy of the guide. To view a recording of our virtual launch event, click here.

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 opportunity. 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. We are publishing resources to help guide commemoration planning, like webinars, blog posts, and other publications. 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 and themes 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. It is chaired by Sara Cureton, executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. The committee includes representatives from federal agencies, national organizations, professional associations, and others from across the U.S. history community, including:

  • America 250 Foundation
  • American Alliance of Museums
  • American Association for State and Local History
  • American Battlefield Trust
  • American Historical Association
  • Association for the Study of African American Life and History
  • Association of African American Museums
  • Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums
  • Collective Journeys, LLC
  • Council of State Archivists
  • Creative Strategies 360°
  • Federation of State Humanities Councils
  • Indiana Historical Society
  • Made By Us
  • Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Museum of the American Revolution
  • National Coalition for History
  • National Council for the Social Studies
  • National Council on Public History
  • National History Day
  • National Humanities Alliance
  • National Park Service
  • National Park Service
  • Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
  • Washington State Historical Society

Goals

In 2018, as early preparations for the Semiquincentennial began to take shape, AASLH began working with a dedicated group of volunteers to generate several broad aspirations for what the 250th anniversary can accomplish for the field and for the public. In addition to working directly with a group of volunteers, we also held listening sessions at several national conferences—including AASLH, National Council on Public History, Association of African American Museums, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums—to help ensure these goals spoke to the needs of our field. These goals, outlined below, helped to guide early planning by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission and other stakeholders, and several of the ideas generated in this project were included in the Commission’s Inspiring the American Spirit report detailing their vision for the commemoration.

As 250th planning shifts into a new, more public-facing phase, AASH will continue to update our goals so they most appropriately speak to the needs of our field and the current moment.

250th Anniversary Resources

AASLH’s most recent resource to help those interested in preparing for the 250th anniversary is Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial. Featuring guiding historical themes and inspiring ideas, this resource can be useful for history organizations of all types and sizes and in all areas of the country. You can download your free copy of the guide using the form above.

Additionally, 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.