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‘America 250’ birthday planners seek local projects, national funds

Post Date:01/18/2020

Philly Inquirer 01182020-800A delegation of the United States Quincentennial Commission visits the White House after delivering their 267-page preliminary report, Jan. 15, 2020. From left: U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey R-Pa.; U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R.-Ala.; Lynn Forney Young, president general, Daughters of the American Revolution; David L. Cohen, Comcast Corp. executive, and chair, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania; Cathy Gillespie, chair, Consulting America; U.S. Vice President Mike Pence; James L. Swanson, writer; Dan DiLella, principal, Equus Capital Partners, and commission chairman; Rosie Gumataotao Rios, former Treasurer of the United States; Frank Giordano, executive director of the commission.

‘America 250’ birthday planners seek local projects, national funds

By Joseph N. DiStefano,
via the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper web site

The business leaders and politicians charged with marking the nation’s 250th birthday say they’re looking for party and project ideas. From all over, including Vice President Mike Pence.

“All 50 states, cities, the territories, the Native reservations, foreign countries,” says Dan DiLella, the Newtown Square-based developer (he heads Equus Capital Partners) who chairs the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission board, appointed by the president to get plans moving for “America 250” events.

The city where the Declaration of Independence was signed has played a lead role in past anniversaries, and each left a mark. Fairmount Park was formed around the Centennial fairgrounds from 1876. The South Philly stadium complex site was first developed for the Sesquicentennial in 1926. Independence Mall was cleared in advance of the Bicentennial in 1976, making way for today’s Liberty Bell Center, National Constitution Center, Independence Visitor Center, and President’s House-and-slave quarters attractions.

And Philadelphians were prominent in the commission’s nine-member delegation that called on Pence at the White House on Wednesday. One goal was to follow up on its new, congressionally mandated, 276-page framework for projects and parties, to culminate on July 4, 2026. The report was sent to the White House last Dec. 31.

Still, “this is not just about Philadelphia,” commission member U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) noted after the visit. While Philadelphians hoped for a big commemoration in 1976, Toomey recalled how New York with its “tall ships” and fireworks ended up with the most memorable party. This time, “Philadelphia has a unique role. But it is a national event.”

Read the entire article on the Philadelphia Inquirer web site.

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