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Our Vision header 

Our Purpose

Inspiring the American spirit within all Americans and each American, grounded in our nation’s founding principles, for our continuing journey toward a more perfect Union

Our Themes

Educate:  Sparking deeper awareness of our founding principles, our history, and our democratic process builds broader appreciation of one another—our unique stories and our common humanity. Together, these contribute to a better understanding of who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed. How will Americans learn about our nation, our institutions, and each other?

Engage:  Government of, by, and for the people enables Americans to invigorate the civil dialogue that perpetually reshapes our nation. We have the right—and responsibility—to take part in the ongoing American experiment. Civic engagement takes many forms. How will Americans get involved in their communities and continue to shape our nation?

Unite:  Coming together as a nation recognizes the power of our diverse stories while never losing sight of our common bonds as Americans. This unity is reflected in our democratic institutions, voluntary associations, and collaborative enterprises. Ideally, we act in concert to promote the common good even as we exercise our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while honoring the freedom of others to do the same. How will Americans join in expressions of unity that respect individual liberty?

Our Scope

• All American History

To encourage the broadest possible participation, America 250 must consider our entire history. Because the Semiquincentennial marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States it will draw inspiration from and attention to the history of the Revolutionary Era. But America’s story did not begin or end with the Revolution. It is a rich tapestry, woven with unifying threads first expressed by our nation’s founders—including the ideas of individual liberty, representative government, and the attainment of equal and unalienable rights. Refined through expanding self-government and passed on to us by great sacrifice, these remain the shared inheritance entrusted to us and future generations.

• Nationwide and Worldwide

The geographical scope of America 250 encompasses the entire United States, its territories, the Native American nations within its borders, and nations around the globe. Given the Revolu­tionary events that forged our nation took place in the 13 original states, there will naturally be unique opportunities for participation and activities within those states. However, the Commission’s vision of engaging each Ameri­can is an invitation for all states, territories, and tribes to be actively involved. The idea of America binds us together across space as well as time.

• Commemorative Period

The Commission’s official commemorative period will run from 2020 to 2027. It will begin with a multiyear crescendo of America 250 activity that will peak in 2026—especially on the Fourth of July—followed by a natural decline in activity, although some programming will continue through and beyond 2027.

• Many Ways to Observe America 250

The Semiquincentennial invites reflection on the past, present, and future of the United States. People will mark America 250 in many ways as indicated in the variety of words used to describe such observances—including but by no means limited to the following:

Commemoration:

Expresses the solemn remembrance of the nation’s past that will honor its triumphs and remember its struggles and sacrifice.

Celebration:

Includes festive activities undertaken in the present that revel in the blessings of liberty, exalt our common bonds as well as our cultural diversity, and proclaim dreams for tomorrow.

Aspiration:

Points us—especially younger Americans—toward a future of opportunity, innovation, and hope.

A successful observance will simultaneously and creatively engage Americans in remembering our past, celebrating the moment, and pursuing our promise.

RTP coverThe America 250 Plan

To learn about the Commission’s overall program for the America 250, please click here explore its report titled Inspiring the American Spirit.  As required by law, the Report was submitted for the President’s review and transmission to Congress. 

This plan is just the beginning of the ongoing nationwide collaboration necessary to bring America 250 to life. 

Please check back frequently in the coming months and years to learn more about how you can participate.

Your Ideas

We cannot do this alone. We need your ideas for how best to observe America 250.  We want you to shape an America 250 that is of, by, and for all the people.  We believe that programs initiated by Americans across the nation will encourage our fellow Americans to participate in America 250 in ways that bring us together for fun and meaning, reflection and engagement, appreciation and expression, dialogue and service.  We want all Americans of all backgrounds to participate – and that means we need ideas for a fun, inclusive and enlightening commemoration that no one will want to miss.  Please share with us your ideas for how best to observe America’s 250-year journey to 2026. Tell us how the American spirit sparks your creativity and imagination for America 250.  Click here to give America 250 your ideas for how best to observe the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.