Majority of Americans Believe in ‘the American Dream’
Congressional commission marking America’s 250th anniversary begins five-year countdown to 2026 with national PSA and America250 brand awareness campaign in key Revolutionary-era cities Boston, Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia
While Americans are divided about how the country is doing, 92% of adult Americans want to make America a better place to live, according to a survey*  conducted by SSRS on behalf of the America250 Foundation, the non-profit arm of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission charged with commemorating 250 years of American independence on July 4, 2026. The findings coincide with the national rollout of the America250 effort to reach all Americans leading up to the nation’s largest and most inclusive commemoration in 2026.
American adults are united behind the American dream of working hard to achieve their goals (83%), with 79% of respondents saying they would rather live in America than anywhere else. When asked what they are hopeful for, Americans mention themes of working toward a better future (38%). They are also hopeful for unity/acceptance (23%), improved government and politics (23%), and equality (17%). Eighty-one percent (81%) associate America with freedom, followed by opportunity (80%), hard work (76%), and diversity (74%).
“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,” said Daniel M. DiLella, Chairman of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, adding, “Our mission is to commemorate our 250th anniversary with inclusive programs that inspire Americans to renew and strengthen our daring experiment in democracy.”
While the national conversation swirls about the best approach to teaching civics, when it comes to education, Americans are most interested in learning more about topics that are relevant to today’s world, including non-white history (47%), their rights and responsibilities as a citizen (43%), lobbying and government (32%), and how the American government functions in the world (31%).
Initiatives for all Americans
The nationwide America250 commemoration seeks to engage nearly 330 million Americans and millions more worldwide through the creation of thousands of programs and initiatives with international, national, federal, tribal, state, local, and grassroots partners leading up to July 4, 2026. The Foundation will involve thought leaders and leading historians, work in collaboration with public and private institutions, museums, and organizations, and activate thousands of partnerships to ensure the broadest possible participation and visibility, while each U.S. state and territory will be asked to form its own commission or state-designated entity to serve as the official partner of the national effort.
In time for the White House call to celebrate this year’s July 4 holiday as a “summer of freedom,” America250’s July 4-themed PSA will begin airing across Comcast NBCUniversal networks nationwide. The 30-second spot captures significant cultural touchpoints in American history and the spirit of celebration while encouraging viewers to visit the new America250.org website to learn more. Additional PSAs will air throughout the summer and fall.
In addition, a new awareness campaign for the America250 effort will appear in 4,559 locations across Boston, Charleston, New York and Philadelphia, four cities that played key roles in the American Revolution and were singled out for particular focus by the Congressional legislation for the commemoration. The new campaign will appear on bus shelters, billboards, Ubers, in airports, and in NYC’s Times Square as summer travel kicks into high gear. On social media, Americans can engage with America250 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with a new TikTok channel launching July 1.
*The survey was administered online among 1,249 adults (18 and over) and 327 U.S. teens (13-17) throughout the national United States (50 states + DC) from May 12 – May 26, 2021. Samples were targeted to reach a representative sample across key variables (gender, age, race/ethnicity, education and region).
About America250, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission and America250 Foundation
America250 is a multiyear effort to commemorate the semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the United States. The purpose of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, created by Congress, and the corresponding America250 Foundation is to catalyze a more perfect union by designing and leading the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our country’s history. America250 represents a coalition of public and private partners all working to create initiatives and programs that honor our first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine our next 250. The commemoration period began in 2020, culminates on July 4, 2026, and officially concludes in 2027. For more information, visit www.america250.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and TikTok.
Keri Potts, VP Communications and Public Relations, America250, [email protected]