Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission today officially recognized the Concord Museum’s The Shot Heard Round the World virtual exhibit as an expression of the America250 vision to inspire the American spirit. America250 is the multiyear initiative leading to the commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of American independence in 2026. The microsite for the virtual exhibit can be found at www.shotheardroundworld.org.
With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Concord Museum recently opened a new $1.2 million exhibit chronicling the events of April 19, 1775 and their revolutionary effect on American history. In the exhibit, the story of the battle at Concord’s North Bridge comes to life in dramatic new ways to recount the fateful moment when the American Revolution began.
For those who cannot travel to Concord, a virtual exhibit entitled The Shot Heard Round the World will transport visitors back in time through eye-witness artifacts, including one of the two lanterns that signaled Paul Revere to begin his ride, and multi-media animations that bring this pivotal moment that changed world history to life.
This Commission envisions The Shot Heard Round the World to be among more than 100,000 America 250 programs that it will officially recognize over the next six years. Currently, the Commission is only recognizing programs on a pilot basis as it establishes the policies and processes necessary to support the growing interest in America250.
While the site (www.shotheardroundworld.org) is now live, there will be a special program on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 hosted virtually by the National Archives and Records Administration to help officially launch this new microsite. The celebration will begin with a forum with Cornell historian Mary Beth Norton discussing her new book 1774: The Long Year of Revolution, with the Concord Museum’s Edward W. Kane Executive Director, Thomas Putnam, which discusses the events that led up to the battles of Lexington and Concord.
At the conclusion of the forum, the Museum will unveil The Shot Heard Round the World microsite featuring remarks from Jon Parrish Peede, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, General Joseph Dunford, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Professor Lucas Morel representing the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission.
“America rests on its ideals, institutions, and people. This exhibit highlights the people who participated in this seminal moment of our shared history and creates the remarkable opportunity to engage with authentic places and artifacts virtually,” said Lucas Morel, member of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission and John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics at Washington & Lee University. “Programs like The Shot Heard Round the World will bring the ideals of America 250 to people across the nation and around the world.”
“The Concord Museum is honored to have been one of the first institutions to receive the endorsement of America 250,” stated Thomas J. Putnam, the Edward W. Kane Executive Director of the Concord Museum. “In the same way that the military engagement in Lexington and Concord sparked the Revolution – we hope this new microsite helps spark the creative outpouring of 250th anniversary celebrations that are sure to follow.”
“The 250th anniversary of the American Revolution will mark a very special occasion in our nation’s history,” remarked David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States and U.S. Semiquincentennial Commissioner who will introduce the November 17th program. “The National Archives is honored to partner with the Concord Museum and, over time, with other institutions throughout the country to celebrate these pivotal moments in our nation’s founding.”
“Concord is the cradle of the American Revolution, and this virtual exhibition will educate a new generation about its pivotal role in reshaping world history,” said Jon Parrish Peede, Chairman, National Endowment for Humanities. “As the 250th anniversary of our nation’s birth approaches, the National Endowment for the Humanities is pleased to support the Concord Museum in bringing this founding era to life.”
Officially known as the United States Semiquincentennial, “America250” will be the most expansive and inclusive milestone in our nation’s history. During the official commemorative period beginning this year, culminating on July 4, 2026, and extending through 2027, America250 has the opportunity to engage nearly 330 million Americans and millions more friends worldwide through programs, educational outreach, and signature events.
The Commission anticipates over 100,000 officially recognized programs designed to educate, engage and unite the American people. More information about the Commission’s vision and approach to programming can be found in Inspiring the American Spirit, its report submitted to the President on December 31, 2019.
About U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission
The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was established by Congress to inspire all Americans and each American to participate in our greatest milestone ever—the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the United States. The Commission is charged with orchestrating the largest and most inclusive anniversary observance in our nation’s history. The Commission will work with public and private entities across the country to make America250 a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all Americans. For more information visit www.america250.org and visit us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The Concord Museum educates visitors of all ages about the history of Concord and its continuing influence on American political, literary and cultural life. The Museum’s nationally significant collection serves as a catalyst for changing exhibitions, extended classroom learning, dynamic programs and publications relevant to an ever-changing world. Founded in 1886, the Museum is a center of cultural enjoyment for the region and a gateway to the town of Concord for visitors from around the world. Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, MA.01742 www.concordmuseum.org