Washington, D.C. –  Today, America250, the official nonpartisan entity charged by Congress with planning the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, announced that U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has appointed West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito to the United States Semiquincentennial Commission. As a Commissioner, Senator Capito will assist the United States Semiquincentennial Commission and in orchestrating the largest, most inclusive commemoration and celebration in American history.

“I am honored to join the United States Semiquincentennial Commission. As an educator and public servant, I’ve dedicated a significant portion of my life to teaching Americans about our founding, firmly believing that understanding where we come from is crucial to how we chart the course for our future,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “This appointment offers an opportunity to partner with organizations at the state and local level to include the efforts being planned in West Virginia, and work to celebrate our country.”

“Senator Capito brings a wealth of experience to America250, and as a Commissioner, we are certain that she will bring her experience as an educator and her time as a public servant to bear for this effort,” said America250 Chair, Rosie Rios. “As we prepare to commemorate and celebrate our nation’s 250th anniversary, Senator Capito’s insight and leadership will be instrumental in ensuring that our celebrations honor our shared history and inspire a unified, hopeful vision for all Americans.”

The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was established by Congress in 2016 to plan and orchestrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Commission comprises 16 private citizens, four U.S. Representatives, four U.S. Senators, and 12 ex-officio members from all three branches of the federal government and its independent agencies, all of whom were appointed by House and Senate leadership of both parties.

America250 continues planning its multi-year-long commemorative activities leading up to the Semiquincentennial. In July of last year, America250 launched America’s Invitation, a national public engagement campaign inviting all Americans to share their stories, hopes, and dreams for the future of this country. In December, America250 and local elected leaders participated in the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, launching a weekend of commemorative activities, including a live reenactment of the Boston Tea Party, which represents the first of many locally-driven, grassroots events that America250 will support in partnership with states and territories across the country.