Here’s a word to add to your vocabulary: semiquincentennial. That’s the fancy way of saying 250th anniversary. In this case, it’s the 250th anniversary of the United States of America, and Connecticut is planning a big event to celebrate.

Or, I should say, they’re planning to plan one. Gov. Lamont announced Friday that he was setting up a commission that will be responsible for putting together the state’s celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In the announcement of his executive order, the governor stated that the Connecticut Semiquincentennial Commission will serve a similar role to its federal counterpart. The group will be tasked “with developing celebrations and activities in recognition of the historic, social, legal, cultural, and political forces that caused the American Revolution and influenced its course and outcomes.” 

They will be required to work with other states and national organizations and “promote Connecticut as a prominent cultural and heritage tourism destination for American Revolution history.”

“Connecticut has a rich and remarkable legacy in the founding of the United States,” Governor Lamont said in his statement. “As our nation prepares to recognize the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I want to make sure everyone knows Connecticut’s role in the American Revolution and that the story of our state’s history is told as people across the nation commemorate the semiquincentennial.”

Members of the commission will include:

  • The Governor, or the Governor’s designee; 
  • The Commissioner of the Department of Education, or the Commissioner’s designee; 
  • The Commissioner of the Department of Aging and Disability Services, or the Commissioner’s designee; 
  • The Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, or the Commissioner’s designee; and 
  • Up to three members of the public appointed by the Governor. 

Additionally, the following are being invited to participate:

  • The Secretary of the State, or the Secretary’s designee; 
  • The State Historic Preservation Officer designated pursuant to 36 CFR 61.2, or the Officer’s designee; 
  • The State Historian, or the State Historian’s designee; 
  • The State Librarian, or the State Librarian’s designee; 
  • A representative of the Connecticut Humanities Council; 
  • A representative of the Connecticut Library Association; 
  • A representative of the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity; 
  • A representative of the Mohegan Tribe; 
  • A representative of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation; 
  • A representative of the Connecticut Historical Society; 
  • A representative of the Connecticut Democracy Center; 
  • A representative of the Connecticut League of History Organizations; 
  • A representative of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community; and 
  • A student or youth leader recommended by the Executive Director of the Old State House. 

Former Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will chair the commission. All members will be unpaid.

The actual anniversary won’t be until July 4, 2026, but the state is apparently planning a multi-year shindig. No word on when the festivities will begin but the commission will have to submit an action plan to the governor by January 1st of next year.

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An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment...

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