Commission organizing America's 250th birthday celebration is sworn in, holds first meeting

Paul Kurtz
November 16, 2018 - 6:23 pm
U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission

Paul Kurtz | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Thirty-three members of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission were sworn in Friday in a ceremony at Independence Hall. 

With the formalities out of the way, the commissioners, made up of politicians, government officials and private citizens, now begin eight years of planning and organizing the nation's 250th birthday celebration in 2026. Area real estate specialist Dan Dilella is the Committee Chair.
"I'm gonna guess we're gonna meeting three or four times a year as a commission," Dilella said. "Where the real work will be done is at the committee levels and they will be meeting as they see fit. I assume they're gonna meeting or at least have conference calls at least once a month."

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Unlike the 1976 Bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia, the Semiquincentennial will be national in scope. Every city and state is invited to take part. And Comcast Vice President David Cohen says they have to get this one right. 

"It's an opportunity to really engage the American people in this birthday celebration," Cohen said. "And that's gonna take a lot of planning. And it's gonna take a lot of effort to be able to make sure that we do something extraordinary for our 250th."

The celebration itself will dwarf the Olympics in terms of size and scope because all 50 states are expected to participate. Pennsylvania has already formed it's own planning commission. 

Cohen says he doesn't want the celebration to be a "turbo-charged Welcome America." America's history will be a prime focus, and he wants to see events that will engage and educate people about the history of this country.