America250 and Wisconsin

Two and a half centuries ago, beginning in 1775, the United States formed an Army, a Navy, and a Marine Corps and began to take shape in the struggle to achieve independence from Great Britain. Starting then and going forward to this day, Americans have sought to define and structure this nation, and move toward what the Constitution called “a more perfect Union.”

When independence was won in 1783, the territory that is now Wisconsin became part of the United States. Descendants of Founders and other Revolutionary War veterans moved to Wisconsin Territory and the State of Wisconsin, and many are buried here. The principles that define Wisconsin and its government are based on those enshrined in America’s founding documents.

Wisconsin has a great opportunity to explore the state’s story and connect Wisconsinites with America’s founding principles. The upcoming semiquincentennial (250th) Anniversaries of the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolutionary War, and other important events in our nation’s founding present incredible opportunities for institutions and organizations around the country to engage and educate their communities. A National Commission, America250, “aims to deepen understanding of our history, democratic process, and each other through education, increase engagement in our communities and governing affairs, and foster unity that includes the ‘many’ Americans in our ‘one’ nation.”

America250 seeks to help place states and territories in a strong position to elevate their identity, drive economic activity, and increase community engagement during the Semiquincentennial. These are the goals of the American250 Wisconsin Commission, which is a state-level partner for the national commission. The 250th also provides an unparalleled opportunity to remind all Wisconsinites what this state and nation have done over our histories, and what we collectively stand for.

America250 Commissioners for Wisconsin

(s. 15.495, Wis. Stats.)
Commissioner Name & Title
Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Christopher Kolakowski, Commission Chair
Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society Christian Øverland, Commission Vice Chair
Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society
Assembly Speaker Joseph Knilans
Designee of the Assembly Speaker
Senate President
Rachael Cabral-Guevara
Designee of the Senate President
Senate Majority Leader Joan Ballweg
Designee of the Senate Majority Leader
Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley
Designee of the Senate Minority Leader
Assembly Majority Leader Ariana Beno
Designee of the Assembly Majority Leader
Assembly Minority Leader Don Vruwink
Designee of the Assembly Minority Leader
Governor Zach Madden
Designee of the Governor
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Randy Koschnick
Designee of the Chief Justice
Director of the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin Julia Hertel
Administrator of the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin
Member of a Federally Recognized
American Indian tribe or band
Shannon Holsey
President of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
Member of the Wisconsin Society
Daughters of the American Revolution
Gena Selby
Wisconsin DAR 250
Member of the Wisconsin Society
Sons of the American Revolution
Robert Haglund
Chair of the Wisconsin SAR 250

America250 and You

In just three years, we will be commemorating the nation’s Semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary. Follow along on this journey to 2026 as we honor the role our Wisconsin veterans have played for more than 250 years – yes, Wisconsin has a tie to the U.S. Revolution.

America’s Invitation is an opportunity for Americans across the country, from every background, to take part in reflecting on our past and looking to the future by sharing their stories, and the things they love about America, as we continue to strive for “a more perfect union.”

Taking part in America’s Invitation is easy — visit to share photos, videos, artwork, essays, songs, poems, or anything else that highlights what America means to you and how you hope to commemorate this milestone. This content may be showcased by America250 on its website, in videos, on social media, and more. Together, the content will highlight what makes America unique and ensure we are building a commemoration that includes all of us.

Over the next three years, America250 will continue to host commemorative events across the country. To find out more info, sign up below.

Follow along for America250 updates on news and events.

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