Philadelphia City Council Supports USA250

On Thursday, March 27, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown introduced a resolution in support of USA250’s planning efforts. The resolution was approved 16-0.

Supporting USA250’s Efforts to Make Philadelphia the Home of our Nation’s 250th Anniversary in 2026

WHEREAS, The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World’s Fair in America, was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May 10 to November 10, 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Approximately 10 million visitors attended the Centennial International Exhibition, equivalent to 25% of the population of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The Centennial engaged the world around the leading artistic, commercial, and agricultural advancements of that era. ​Adapting these concepts to today, USA250 is researching traditional World Expo guidelines while also exploring alternative program models; and

WHEREAS, The International Exposition of 1926 was a world’s fair in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The fair drew about 10 million visitors; and

WHEREAS, In celebration of our nation’s Bicentennial, Philadelphia was selected to host the 1976 NBA All-Star Game, the 1976 National Hockey League All-Star Game, the 1976 NCAA Final Four, and the 1976 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at which President Ford threw out the first pitch. In July of 1976, Philadelphia hosted Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, presenting a Bicentennial Bell made in the same foundry as the original Liberty Bell; and

WHEREAS, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Museum of American Jewish History, and the Mummers Museum were established in 1976 in connection with the Bicentennial; and

WHEREAS, In 2000, Philadelphia hosted the Republican National Convention. The convention yielded $345 million in total sales, produced the equivalent of 4,777 full-time jobs and $167 million in personal income; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia will soon welcome the Pope during the 2015 World Meeting of Families along with the 2016 Democratic National Convention; and

WHEREAS, The New York Times has named Philadelphia the top U.S. destination in 2015; and

WHEREAS, USA250’s vision is that Philadelphians will provide leadership to attract all 50 states and millions of Americans to participate in the nation’s 250th in 2026: a series of world-class events, meetings and exhibitions woven together by our common heritage and shared future; and

WHEREAS, USA250 has engaged business, cultural, and civic leaders throughout Greater Philadelphia to once again answer the call to imagine, plan, and convene our national celebration, taking full advantage of the economic and cultural opportunities presented by our nation’s 250th anniversary; and

WHEREAS, USA250 is building consensus around this shared vision by articulating best-practice models for the 250th, pursuing 2026 major event commitments, and expanding the team of area leaders involved with the initiative; and;

WHEREAS, USA250’s outreach process has included the engagement of hundreds of local citizens, inspiring the organization to develop a thematic plan around America’s founding values of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That Council does hereby support USA250’s efforts to make Philadelphia the home of our Nation’s 250th Anniversary in 2026.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that an Engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to USA250 as evidence of the sincere sentiments of this legislative body.

Memo for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Elected Officials and Candidates for Office

Greater Philadelphia is on a roll. We will host the 2015 World Meeting of Families, 2015 NAACP Convention, and 2016 Democratic National Convention. The New York Times has named Philadelphia the top U.S. destination in 2015. Our world-class museums will soon be joined by the new Museum of the American Revolution. And as America approaches its quarter-millennial year in 2026, our city is thriving with an influx of young millennials, tomorrow’s leaders.

Philadelphia’s next Mayor and City Council, along with our newly elected Governor and General Assembly, must build off today’s momentum and set our sights on America’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

The economic opportunity and civic legacy that can accrue from a successful plan for America’s 250th is enormous — but only if we plan now and enlist a diverse coalition of community, cultural, and business leaders from across the region.

USA250’s vision is that Philadelphians will provide leadership to attract all 50 states and millions of Americans to participate in the nation’s 250th: a series of world-class events, meetings and exhibitions woven together by our common heritage and shared future. We will offer Greater Philadelphia as an anchor campus during the 2026 anniversary period, and will develop partnerships across the country, to celebrate and explore “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” in the modern era.

USA250 calls upon our elected leaders and candidates for office to:


1. Elevate 2026 as a major opportunity for the region’s institutions and communities;


2. Invest resources to ensure an ambitious, well-studied, and inclusive plan for America’s 250th anniversary period; and


3. Solicit major event commitments and institutional partnerships for 2026.

USA250 is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization making big plans for America’s 250th anniversary in 2026. We neither support nor oppose candidates for office.

Spread the word: Toast250 is April 30

Please join USA250’s Board of Directors and Founders Circle at Toast250 on April 30! Use this page to spread the word to friends and colleagues.

Click here for detailed event info and to purchase tickets.


Copy and paste the below email to customize a message to friends and colleagues. Test it out first to make sure the message comes through clearly. Need help? Email

Dear friend,Please join me this Thursday, April 30 at 6pm, for Toast250, a celebration to benefit Philadelphia’s plans for America’s 250th anniversary in 2026.Toast250 includes featured remarks by Katie McGinty, Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Wolf, and David Montgomery, Chairman of the Philadelphia Phillies. Philadelphia City Council will also make a presentation, from the Office of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.We need Philly patriots like you to think big and once again answer the call to imagine, plan, and convene our nation’s anniversary celebration. For tickets and information, visit Or if you can’t make it, click here to make a general donation to USA250.

I hope to see you there!

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Please join USA250’s Board of Directors and Founders Circle to celebrate Philadelphia’s plans for America’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

Thursday, April 30 at 6pm
Independence Visitor Center
One North Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Click here to purchase tickets for Toast250.

Includes tasty hors d’oeuvres and open bar
Featured speakers to be announces
Suggested attire: after-work chic!
Email USA250 about babysitting options.
Share the event on Facebook

USA250 Board of Directors: Christopher Chimicles, James Elam, Gregory Heller, Andrew Hohns, Avram Hornik, Job Itzkowitz, Bob Moul, Keri Salerno, Jeffrey Scott, Nicole White, April Williamson

Executive Director: Jon Grabelle Herrmann

USA250 Founders Circle members have generously provided USA250 with seed funding: Patricia Bauman and John Landrum Bryant, Daniel Berger, Christopher and Kate Chimicles, Avram Hornik, Kevin Kleinschmidt, Andrew Hohns and Leah Popowich, Lyn and David Montgomery, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Philadelphia

Toast250 Host Committee: Andrew Hohns and Leah Popowich, Christopher and Kate Chimicles, Avram Hornik, Lyn and David Montgomery

Toast250 Patriots: Carolyn Adams, Cashman and Associates, Drexel University, Nancy Gilboy, Independence Visitor Center, National Museum of American Jewish History, Niche Media/ Philadelphia Style, Keri and Matthew White, WPVI-TV/ 6abc

Toast250 Friends: Andrew Barroway

Gen250 Committee: Maureen Holland, Greg O’Loughlin, Nicole White, Young Involved Philadelphia

Special Thanks: Museum of the American Revolution, NextFab, New Leaders Council, Pattison Leader Group, Witty Gritty

USA 250 Incorporated (dba USA250) is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

To make a donation or pay by check, please send payment to: USA250, 1801 Market Street, Suite 660, c/o Chris Chimicles – Treasurer, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

For more information, visit

Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA