BUTLER COUNTY — Today the United States turns 244 years old, and Founding Father John Adams wasn’t far off when he predicted Independence Day would be celebrated with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”

But even bigger festivities will happen in six years, when the country celebrates its 250th birthday. But because “Semiquincentennial” is an awkward name, it’s already been re-branded as “America250.”

Tony Rucci, president and CEO of the America250 Foundation and a retired Ohio State University professor, says he already wakes up sweating at 2 a.m. some nights thinking about what’s to come.

Organizers estimate that in 1976, there were 50,000 local events, Rucci said.

The Bicentennial lasted more than 1976 itself, and included an address given Dec. 31, 1975, by then-President Gerald Ford, and tall-masted sailing ships from many nations visiting New York Harbor on July 4 and Boston Harbor several days later. More than 100 countries celebrated with the U.S. that year.

“Wow,” Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller said recently when asked about that upcoming anniversary. “I never even thought about that. Wow.”Click here to read the entire article.