Missouri prepares for the signing of the Declaration of Independence semiquincentennial.

While it’s great to have a party just for the sake of fun, usually parties are held in celebration of an event. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, and the like are all reasons to have parties. While it’s a few years off, Jefferson City and the state of Missouri have a big reason to celebrate
coming our way.

2026 marks the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That document marked our separation from the nation of Great Britain and the birth of the United States of America. It’s arguably the most important event in the history of the U.S., and commemorating it is going to be a party nationwide.

To help celebrate our nation’s semiquincentennial, which is a fancy way of saying 250th anniversary,
preparations are being made on both the state and local levels. The Semiquincentennial Commission, which was created by an act of Congress, is working on plans for celebrating our 250th anniversary the entire year of 2026. The program is known as America 250.

The celebrations are intended to engage people, especially young people, through educational programming and contests. There will also be an emphasis on honoring patriots of the Revolutionary War, including those not always mentioned in history books. America250 is a non-partisan, non-profit effort to help Americans better understand their history and the importance of our form of government.

Helping coordinate all of these efforts are the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution. These non-profit organizations, made up of descendants of patriots of the American Revolution, are partnering with the Semiquincentennial Commission at the national level to help bring America 250 to all our states and territories.

Here in Missouri, I sponsored legislation that will create our own America 250 commission. My Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 was finally passed this session, and Governor Parson has signed it into law. SCR7 will allow Missouri to work in coordination with the nation-wide America 250 eff ort. I had a lot of help getting this resolution passed — Representatives Van Shoiack and Griffith sponsored the legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives, and members of the local Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution testified on behalf of the resolution in committee. There are now almost 40 states and territories that have established an America 250 commission.

The opportunity that the America 250 celebration will provide to our area is exciting. It will bring good things to Jefferson City and the state, promoting tourism, patriotism, and education. Helping kids better understand the way the government works, the sacrifices the people of the original 13 colonies made, and the way the signing of the Declaration of Independence shaped our nation today are all important to the future of this country.

If you’d like more information on the America 250 project, you can visit their website at america250.org. There is a section asking Americans to share their stories and upload pictures, videos, and writings that will show what a tapestry of individuals our nation is composed of. I encourage you to be a part of America 250, whether through sharing your story, volunteering, or simply participating in the celebration.

Sen. Mike Bernskoetter took office in 2019, serving the 6th Senatorial District. Before being elected to the Missouri Senate, he served as a representative for the 59th District in the Missouri House of Representatives.