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Coughlin Bill to Begin Preparations for Observance of America’s 250th Anniversary Now Law

Plans Also Include Commemoration of NJ’s 1st Constitution Adopted in 1776

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) to begin planning the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the United States and the anniversary of New Jersey’s first constitution was recently signed into law.

“New Jersey played a central and crucial role in the events of the Revolutionary War. Considered the Crossroads of the American Revolution, the state hosted the most battles during the war. In fact, George Washington spent much of his time as Commander-in-Chief in New Jersey,” said Speaker Coughlin. “This history deserves to be celebrated with great fanfare.”

The law (A-4194) requires the New Jersey Historical Commission to establish a program to observe the 250th anniversary of United States independence, and the state’s first Constitution. As part of the program, the commission will be authorized to enter into a public-private partnership agreement with a private entity to plan and undertake the historical activities and programs.

“There is much to celebrate about New Jersey. This is a wonderful opportunity to expand the narrative about New Jersey, and let others know the contributions we made to the formation of America,” said Speaker Coughlin.

A private entity will be eligible to enter into such a partnership if it is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization and is responsible for the maintenance and administration of a national heritage area dedicated to the history of the American Revolution as it relates to New Jersey. An advisory council will be created to guide the partnership in its planning of celebrations and observations, and work with the Division of Parks and Forestry and the Division of Travel and Tourism on these activities.

Any partnership agreement will expire by December 31, 2033. The law appropriates $500,000 to assist the New Jersey Historical Commission in formulating and implementing a program.

The bill was signed by Gov. Murphy on Aug. 17