Preparing for the 250th Anniversary of the U.S.
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is providing a $400,000 grant to the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) to expand AASLH’s capacity to serve and prepare the public history and museum community for the 250th anniversary, or Semiquincentennial, of the United States in 2026.
This is the largest known gift from a private philanthropic foundation to support the U.S. Semiquincentennial commemoration. AASLH is the national leader in providing planning resources for the Semiquincentennial to the country’s more than 21,000 history organizations. AASLH has been leading these efforts since 2017.
“For close to 20 years, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has worked to help communities across America recognize and celebrate their history,” said Deryn Pomeroy, Trustee and Director of Strategic Initiatives. “The U.S. Semiquincentennial is a very special opportunity to further that important mission. It also allows us to continue our valued partnership with AASLH by providing key resources to prepare history organizations – and our country itself – for commemorating our nation’s 250th anniversary.”
This grant will enable AASLH to expand its capacity to serve history organizations during the lead-up to 2026. Most immediately, the grant will allow AASLH to add a new staff member, the Pomeroy Foundation Semiquincentennial Manager, who will lead the development of resources for small organizations, support state-level planning and activities, and coordinate current and new national partnerships. The grant will also support new programmatic efforts like webinars, workshops, and publications.
“The 250th anniversary is now less than four years away. There is a sense of urgency because there are no second chances to prepare for this once-in-a-generation event,” said John Dichtl, President and CEO of AASLH. “We are grateful that the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has decided to continue their partnership with AASLH to prepare all history organizations to connect with all Americans in the full sweep of the country’s history in 2026.”
This grant marks the second time the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has supported AASLH in Semiquincentennial planning. In 2021, AASLH published Making History at 250: A Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, which contains a set of five themes history organizations can use to guide their programming. Earlier this year, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation funded a second printing of this guide, which enabled AASLH to send it to an additional 13,000 history organizations. The National Endowment for the Humanities supported the development and first printing of the Field Guide.
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), a national nonprofit association, provides leadership and resources to help the history community thrive and make the past more meaningful for all people. AASLH serves the tens of thousands of history organizations, professionals, and volunteers around the country who help people of all ages develop critical thinking skills and understand how learning history helps society make progress toward justice. Through research, advocacy, and our field-leading professional development program, AASLH advances public history practice and connects history practitioners to critical issues in the field and to one another. More information about AASLH Semiquincentennial planning resources can be found at aaslh.org/250.
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation® is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and working to improve the probability of finding appropriate donor matches or other life-saving treatments for blood cancer patients. Established by Trustee Bill Pomeroy in 2005 to bring together his two greatest passions, the Pomeroy Foundation is a private, philanthropic organization located in Syracuse, N.Y. As the nation’s leading funder of historic roadside markers, the Pomeroy Foundation has awarded nearly 2,000 grants for markers and bronze plaques in 46 states and Washington, D.C.
To learn more about the Pomeroy Foundation, visit wgpfoundation.org.