Newsline

Newsline , Society

Disarray Plagues Congressional Commission Planning America’s 250th Birthday Bash

Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2022
|
by AMAC Newsline
|
15 Comments
|
Print

AMAC Exclusive-By Eleanor Vaughn

Just over four years from now, the United States will reach the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But as of today, exactly how the country plans to honor this momentous occasion is still remarkably unclear, as the organization established to plan the country’s semiquincentennial is bogged down by internal squabbles.

In anticipation of this extraordinary event, Congress established the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission in 2016. The commission, along with its private, non-profit counterpart the America250 Foundation (referred to collectively as America250), describes its mission as “inspir[ing] all Americans and each American to participate in our greatest milestone ever — the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.”

However, recent news has put a damper on the party planning. According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, in a meeting last month, the commission split almost down the middle over whether or not to give more power to its chairman, Daniel M. DiLella, a Philadelphia businessman who also controls the non-profit portion of the project. The vote was 12-10 in favor of Mr. DiLella’s resolution to limit transparency, discussion periods, and members’ abilities to vote on issues. Proponents of the change – i.e., allies of Mr. DiLella – said it would make the organization more streamlined and business-like, while dissenters argued that it was taking away their voices. Given that there was no debate or discussion before the vote, the dissenters seem to have a point.

This controversy is only the latest in a plague of troubles for America250. Recently, four former executives—the only women to serve as executives for America250—sued the organization for discrimination. They described it as a “boy’s club” populated by friends of DiLella, where the women were increasingly shut out.

The lawsuit also raises questions about how America250 is spending the more than $30 million in taxpayer funds for the project that Congress has appropriated so far. According to the former employees’ lawsuit, DiLella named his close personal friend Frank Giordano to be the commission’s executive director, a title that came with a $156,000 salary. The suit alleges that Giordano only works about 10 hours a week, and spends most of his time focused on his other business ventures, which include his roles as CEO of Encore Series, Inc. and Atlantic Trailer Leasing Corp.

Amid all the controversy, the specifics of America250’s plan to celebrate the country turning 250 have remained murky at best. Some ideas that have been floated include a television cooking show featuring dishes from around the country and a Young People’s Continental Congress, set to first meet in 2024 in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia, 250 years after the first Continental Congress.  

A few commemorations from the Bicentennial like the Freedom Train and the parade of tall ships are also anticipated to make a return. Other proposed projects include partnerships with the NFL and MLB, travelling showcases, virtual experiences centered around historical sites, commemorative medals, and dozens of educational displays at battlefields and museums.

Whether or not these and other events honoring the nation’s history will actually take place depends on if America250 can resolve its internal strife and focus on the mission Congress has charged it with.

But as concerning as things appear now, this situation is not unprecedented. Back in the early 1970s, the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission was mired in similar controversies of corruption and misallocation of resources. The commission was accused of commercialism, turning the Bicentennial into a chance to get rich, and financial misconduct. In 1973, the commission was replaced by the similarly-named American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, which finished the work of preparing for the Bicentennial.

The condition the country finds itself in today is also not unlike the one facing Americans fifty years ago. Then, as now, the country had just experienced a disastrous exit from a long war, inflation was a major concern, and gas prices were near all-time highs. People were in desperate need of something to re-inspire pride in being an American and lift the spirits of a beleaguered nation.

Even with all the bickering, however, the Bicentennial Celebration was one to remember. To this day, children eagerly search for those famous Bicentennial quarters with a drummer boy on the back. Many Americans who were children then still fondly remember the marathon TV broadcasts that dominated the airwaves on the Fourth of July.

But the real thing worth remembering about the Bicentennial Celebration is the individual ways in which Americans throughout the country honored the occasion. Small towns organized parades and picnics, families gathered to tell their children stories of the founding, and people seemed to have a rejuvenated sense of what makes this country so exceptional in the history of the world.

To be sure, all Americans should hope that America250 will set aside the differences dividing the organization and give the country a celebration worth remembering. But the truly meaningful acts in the lead-up to the semiquincentennial will come from individuals and families determined to keep alive the Spirt of ‘76. Because while tall ships and special coins are all fitting tributes to an exceptional country, the only thing absolutely critical to honoring the United States and its history is the abiding love of its people.

Eleanor Vaughn is a writer living in Virginia.

Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

I’m shocked!….NOT!!!! I hate to break this to the author, but this is how almost every “commission” authorized by the federal government tends to operate. Congress allocates money, with precious little over-sight, and politically connected people are selected to sit on the commission to make decisions. Republicans pick some people and Democrats pick some people. Is it any surprise that there would be internal clashes between people with diametrically opposing perspectives on the country and its history? Is there really any surprise that some people will take charge and others will be marginalized? That some federal money, with little over-sight, will get wasted or misspent along the way? This is how the federally authorized commissions tend to operate. As the author herself points out, past commissions have operated in a similar manner. Again, this is how federal commissions operate.

Dan W.
Dan W.
2 years ago

If Congress really wants to give We the People a 250th birthday present, they should abolish this phony commission/foundation and reallocate the $30 million back to the U.S. Treasury.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 years ago

Why not several thousand govt. cars going down the expressways ,tossing out dollars to the peasents. Kyle L.

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

After the ratification of the U.S.Constitution, the first election of our executive/commander in chief and Congress, the inauguration, I think our nation began in 1790, a nice rounded figure. The current role of our government bears no resemblance to the description in the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, so it’s no wonder there won’t be a memorable celebration. Marxists and Patriots can never agree.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Use NGO Indie source for 250th bash
CUT costs, merge resources

Boz
Boz
2 years ago

Libs do NOT want America to make it to 250th year and are doing EVERYTHING to make sure that we don’t.

Patriot Eric
Patriot Eric
2 years ago

There will be NO celebration until the fraudulent 2020 election is fixed!! #MAGA #FJB

Barb
Barb
2 years ago

Sounds to me like more government crookedness of using taxpayer dollars with no oversite/overview or transparency, and hiring your buddy ‘old pal’ to benefit for doing nothing. Is there a kickback going on here with the $$$ ? Maybe I should request a refund from them, stating I don’t want to participate in their shenanigans.

James Thompson
James Thompson
2 years ago

Of course there is disarray. Congress is involved! Want to screw things up? Have the Federal Government help!

Maura
Maura
2 years ago

No mention that Mr. Giordano saved the Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States. Since joining the POPS in 2011, CEO Giordano created a strategy that has led the organization to unprecedented success in ticket sales, contributed revenue, community engagement and programming. But he’s positioned as some dopey pal who didn’t earn the position? This smear campaign and lawsuit against the leadership were orchestrated and catalyzed by a few sour Democrat grapes on the board, led by Andrew Hohns, who were frankly jealous they weren’t appointed directors though they tried for years.
Period. Google it. Shame on AMAC for spreading bad information. Do some fact checking. How about a story about the toxicity of those sour grapes?

Andre Bixby
Andre Bixby
2 years ago

Several folks have addressed lack of oversight. When you have an entire class of elites running the operation, who exactly would be the people to provide the oversight. Like the farmer said, “you can’t have the fox guard the chickens.” It doesn’t work, just like our current government. For a large percentage of these people are criminals spending $$$ that isn’t theirs. (Although they certainly act like it is).

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
Former President Donald J Trump spoke at The People's Convention hosted by Turning Point USA and Sponsored by AMAC
AMAC CEO Rebecca Weber addressing AMAC Members & Delegates during her speech at the AMAC Action Delegate Summit 2024
Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during press conference at NATO SUMMIT 2018. 12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization SUMMIT 2018.
Public schools block lettering on the side of a yellow school bus

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

15
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games