In less than three years, the United States will commemorate its 250th birthday, or Semiquincentennial, celebration. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, with the nation’s 250th birthday officially being recognized on July 4, 2026. The journey toward this historic milestone is an opportunity to pause and reflect on our nation’s past, honor the contributions of all Americans, and look ahead toward the future for the next generation and beyond.
The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was established by Congress in 2016 to plan and orchestrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. The nonpartisan commission is working to engage Americans across the country in designing the largest and most inclusive anniversary observance in the nation’s history.
America 250 is encouraging Americans from all walks of life to share their story through photos, videos, artwork, poems, songs and more on its official website. Americans are encouraged to share anything meaningful to commemorate this milestone. The content could be showcased by America 250 on its website, in videos, or on social media. All of these contributions will highlight what makes America unique and ensure the commemoration includes everyone.
Illinois is one of 38 states so far that have established a Semiquincentennial Commission. Its principal purpose is to plan, promote, and implement appropriate commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America.
“There is no more important moment in our nation’s history than the signing of the Declaration of Independence,” stated Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville). “We do not become the United States of America without declaring our independence from British rule. There should be a real and lasting celebration to commemorate the 250th birthday of the founding of our country.”
“The founders of America had a providential view of history,” stated Rep. Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa). “Their foresight and steadfast actions brought forth the Declaration of Independence. All Americans should take pride in the upcoming 250th birthday celebration for our nation.”
The American Association for State and Local History is a national professional association dedicated to helping the history community thrive. Themes they have established for America’s 250th birthday include Unfinished Revolutions, Power of Place, We the People, American Experiment, and Doing History. In commemorating the Semiquincentennial, it’s very important that Americans of all ages and backgrounds and in all places see themselves in history. The 250th celebration offers history organizations the opportunity to enhance the impact and relevance they have in their communities. Local, state, and national entities have the opportunity to shape the Semiquincentennial into a truly remarkable experience.