EDITORIAL: Get those tricornes out

Bicentennial? Sesquicentennial? Semiquincentennial? What do you call a 250th anniversary?

Some of us are old enough to remember 1976, with all the kids wearing tricorne hats--to go with their bell-bottoms. July 4, 1976, was a special time. We have hidden photos to prove it.

The bicentennial of the United States was all the talk that year, along with some guy nobody heard of--Jimmy Carter--winning some presidential primaries. But 50 years later we are told the coming 250th celebration is called a "semiquincentennial,"--and will be here in 2026.

It's already time to jump onboard with America250 and get the party started.

America250 is a nonpartisan commission formed to guide the effort to celebrate the United States' 250th birthday.

"This isn't just an event: this is an experience," says Rosie Rios, chair of America250. "It's a journey that I think as a country we've never taken before."

No, we haven't.

America250 was launched during a Major League Baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers in 2021. America250 has set a goal of partnering with all states and territories to form organizations to develop comprehensive programming and events celebrating each area's impact on American history.

"Arkansas has its own unique historical milestones," Rios said. "We can't forget the Little Rock Nine. We can't forget Hattie Caraway, the first female senator. How amazing is that?"

We'll add that we elected a president from around here. Arkansas is home to the world's largest retailer. The northwest part of the state routinely ranks in the top 10 on all the good lists. One of the largest poultry companies in America calls Arkansas home. We are the duck-hunting capital of the world--not to mention that Johnny Cash, Levon Helm and Glen Campbell are from here.

"This culture in Arkansas has to be shared," said Rios. "This is about storytelling more than anything."

Arkansas has been in conversations with America250, but the state has not yet created such a commission for itself.

"We are relying on the states to be able to articulate their stories and work with us to make sure we can amplify them as much as possible."

Wouldn't it be best for Arkansans to come up with Arkansas' story? It's time to jump on board with this effort.

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