On August 2, 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress began signing the Declaration of Independence. Exactly 245 years later, 20 federal agencies gathered to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in support of activities marking the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

Organized by America250 Director of Federal Partnerships Terry Brown, the signing was held in the Library of Congress’ Great Hall. Opening remarks were provided by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission’s Lynn Forney Young, Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, and Commission Executive Director Frank Giordano.

“The Library welcomed the opportunity to host the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission and many of our federal partners to sign this memorandum of understanding, which will provide a strong foundation for the most inclusive celebration in our nation’s history,” said Dr. Hayden.  “Over the next five years, we look forward to shining a light on the American experience by opening the Library’s treasure chest of collection items for the American people to discover; launching new programs across the Library; unveiling a brand new visitor experience; and much, much more.”

America 250 MOU signing at the Library of Congress, August 2, 2021. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress. Note: Privacy and publicity rights for individuals depicted may apply.

Specific plans to support America250 will be announced in the coming months. The 20 federal agencies that signed the agreement include: the Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of State, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian Institution, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, American Battle Monuments Commission, Corporation for National and Community Service, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Railroad Retirement Board, U.S. African Development Foundation, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Office of Government Ethics, and U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

America 250 MOU signing at the Library of Congress, August 2, 2021. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress. Note: Privacy and publicity rights for individuals depicted may apply.

“Our mission is to commemorate the 250th anniversary with inclusive programs that inspire Americans to renew and strengthen our daring experiment in democracy, with the hope that the shared experiences of America250 will have ignited our imaginations, elevated our diverse stories, inspired service in our communities, and demonstrated the lasting durability of the American project,” said Giordano.

America250 is proud to work alongside its federal partners to commemorate this milestone in American history.

Read the official news release here.