NY gearing up for 250th commemoration of American Revolution

Posted 15 May 2024 at 7:15 am

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the formation of the New York State 250th Commemoration Commission to recognize the anniversary of the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

The first meeting of the Commission will convene from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at the Huxley Theater in the New York State Museum in Albany.

“New York State played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, and we look forward to welcoming people from all over the world to join us in commemorating the 250th anniversary in 2026,” Governor Hochul said. “The commemoration will not only celebrate the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence, but will also emphasize New York’s ongoing effort to achieve our nation’s founding principles of representative democracy with equal participation and rights for all.”

Randy Simons, Commissioner Pro Tempore of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Dr. Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of Education, will co-chair the Commission.

In its first year, the Commission will advise on the development of a multifaceted commemoration to support New York’s heritage organizations to plan and support programming and exhibits, coordinate New York State learning standards; encourage and promote heritage tourism; advance scholarship surrounding the history and values of the American Revolution; and ignite public interest in the history of New York State and the United States.

The commemoration will extend beyond the period of American Revolution and the formation of the United States to ongoing efforts to reach the goals expressed by the nation’s founders. New York has been a significant force in those movements, including such iconic, historic stories as serving as the routes for the Underground Railroad, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the labor movement, and the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

State Department of Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “This very important chapter of New York’s early history is imperative to share, as New York was at the center of political decisions that influenced the outcome of the Revolutionary War and helped shape the United States. When our students have opportunities to explore and learn about the significant historical events of the past, they are able to gain invaluable insights into the present, fostering critical thinking, empathy, and informed decision-making. We are honored to be able to collaborate with our partner agencies on this Commission and look forward to igniting an excitement for lifelong learning through historical education as we celebrate 250 years of democracy, freedom, and independence.”

The meeting today will be open to the public. The Commission will meet quarterly. For more information and a livestream of the meeting, visit Revolutionary NY 250 | The New York State Museum (nysed.gov).