A group dedicated to celebrating America’s 250th anniversary is launching its first national ad campaign on Thursday, days before the 5-year countdown to the milestone begins.
The America250 Foundation, the non-profit arm of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission that is tasked with commemorating 250 years of American independence on July 4, 2026, said it is launching the campaign as “America’s first introduction to what will be the largest and most inclusive commemoration in history."
“Our mission is to commemorate our 250th anniversary with inclusive programs that inspire Americans to renew and strengthen our daring experiment in democracy,” Daniel DiLella, chairman of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, said in a statement.
The group said it hopes to engage nearly 330 million Americans and millions more worldwide in its commemoration by creating thousands of programs and initiatives with international, national, federal, tribal, state, local and grassroots partners in the lead-up to July 4, 2026.
The foundation said it will enlist the help of thought leaders and leading historians, while also working in collaboration with public and private institutions, museums, organizations and thousands partnerships “to ensure the broadest possible participation and visibility.”
It also said each U.S. state and territory will be asked to create its own commission or state-designated entity to be an official partner of the national effort.
The campaign will be displayed at more than 4,500 locations throughout Boston, Charleston, New York and Philadelphia, including Times Square, the Lincoln Tunnel and the Walt Whitman Bridge.
The group said it chose those four cities because they “played key roles in the American Revolution and were singled out for particular focus by Congressional legislation for the commemoration.”
The campaign also includes a new public service announcement that is set to begin airing on July 1.
It features voiceovers from former Presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees MORE and George W. Bush in addition to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and shows video of “significant cultural touch points in American history and the spirit of celebration,” beginning with immigrants arriving at New York’s Ellis Island in 1903.
“It is the American story. A story of fallible people united across the generations by Grand and enduring ideals,” Bush says in the video.
“The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit to carry forward that promise that all are equal and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness,” Obama added.
Rice is featured saying "Standing for the cause of liberty is as old as our country itself."
The launch of the ad campaign coincides with the release of a new survey of adults and teenagers on their views of the U.S., its history and the future.
The poll, conducted by America250 and Social Science Research Solutions, Inc. (SSRS), found that 92 percent of adults are united in wanting to make America a better place.
“In spite of all the challenges we have endured this past year, we are encouraged that Americans are united in working toward a better future as we begin the official introduction of America250,” DiLella wrote in a statement.
Only 38 percent of Americans, however, are hopeful for a better future, while 23 percent are hopeful for a better political system.
The survey also found that only 23 percent of Americans are hopeful for a future with more unity and acceptance.
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– Brett Samuels contributed.