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Inaugural Meeting of U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission

Originally published 11/19/2018

Post Date:01/13/2020


Full initial Commission Meeting 2018


Inaugural Meeting of U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission Held in Philadelphia

Bipartisan commemorative commission to develop plans for America's 250th anniversary

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Semiquincentennial Commission, a federally appointed body tasked with planning the 250th anniversary of American independence, held its inaugural meeting on November 16 in historic Philadelphia, Pa. The bipartisan commemorative commission is comprised of 16 private citizens, eight members of Congress and nine Federal Government officials.

The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was formed in July 2016 after both chambers of Congress unanimously passed the United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act. The group's primary responsibility is to create a national commemoration program which will include a full history of the U.S. leading up to the 250th Anniversary and beyond. The Commission will develop an overall plan with recommendations that will be submitted to the President and Congress for review and oversee the execution of the plan through the 250th anniversary year in 2026.

"As a Commission, we seek to ensure that America's 250th anniversary is a true celebration of our history, our values, and who we are as a nation past, present and future," said Dan DiLella, chairman of the Commission. "We have taken this responsibility to heart and we see this first meeting as the beginning of a productive process to celebrate the nation's anniversary in a way that makes all Americans proud."

The Commission has already accomplished a number of foundational elements designed to support the development of a successful commemoration. Frank Giordano, President and CEO of the Philly POPS, was named as interim executive director by the Commission, and American Battlefield Trust (the Trust) was selected by the Department of the Interior as the Commission's national nonprofit partner, supporting administrative and fundraising efforts.

The Trust has begun to lay the administrative groundwork, including identification of potential national fundraising partners, and early outreach to NGOs and other partners that can assist with the commemoration.

"The American Battlefield Trust is honored to be working with the Commission on this landmark celebration," remarked Trust President James Lighthizer. "Our experience in building consensus and commitment to honoring America's history will help support the Commission's efforts as we work toward this historic milestone."

Prior to the Commission meeting, DiLella spoke at a tree planting ceremony on November 15 to introduce the DAR Pathway of the Patriots along the Schuylkill River Trail. The Pathway, a partnership between DAR, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, USA250, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, is a gift to the nation on behalf of the DAR, which will result in 250 new trees planted along the trail.

For more information about the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, please visit


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