Trademark filing shows America's 250th birthday is coming soon

September 13, 2023, 6:48 PM · Hey, early Generation X kids, ready to feel old?

GenX is the Schrödinger's generation - simultaneously feeling both too old and too young for our actual ages... while locked away in a box and forgotten by people in every other generation. GenX comprises people born between the years 1965 to 1980, so one of the big events in the childhoods of many early GenX'ers in the United States was the nation's Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

Well, get ready to do that all over again.

The United States Semiquincentennial Commission agency of the United States government this month has filed a trademark application for "America 250." That's right. The United States' 250th birthday is approaching rapidly - it'll be on July 4, 2026. That's less than three years from now.

If the nation is about to celebrate its 250th birthday, basic math tells us that 200th birthday celebration was nearly 50 years ago. (This is the point where everyone who was alive for the Bicentennial cries, while everyone who wasn't points and laughs at those who are crying.)

Anyway, the Bicentennial was a big deal in the nation's theme parks, as it was pretty much everywhere around the U.S. in 1976. The Bicentennial was the inspiration for the "To Honor America" float at the end of Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade, which Disney eventually retired (checks notes), uh, last year.

To Honor America float

The Bicentennial also inspired the two Marriott's Great America theme parks, now Six Flags Great America, near Chicago, and California's Great America, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Los Angeles area's Magic Mountain also celebrated that year by giving us the first modern vertical loop roller coaster, Great American Revolution, now New Revolution.

So what will theme park and attraction designers provide us to celebrate America's 250th, in 2026? Given the lead time to develop new attractions, they might already be at work on that.

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Replies (10)

September 13, 2023 at 10:52 PM

Hahaha, great post man, I just BARELY remember it. Barely, I'm so young, haha.

I think for the Semiquincentennial we should finally just have it out as a nation. We'll meet in a field somewhere in the middle, St. Louis maybe, at night in the rain, just like in the Outsiders--the MAGA nation on one side, normal people on the other, and just have it out once and for all. Fireworks and hot dogs once the dust settles.

September 13, 2023 at 11:51 PM

Thecolonel, leave it to you to start this thread with such an asinine comment. To even joke about Americans fighting a second civil war is reprehensible. We get it, you’re a “good” liberal and hate the other side. You are welcome to your own beliefs, as is everyone else. However, when you joke about Americans killing Americans to make yourself feel superior, you’ve crossed a bridge too far.
As someone who’s politics fall somewhere between JFK and Reagan I truly feel sad for you.

Btw…being that you have a reputation of being one of the resident trolls here I have little interest in paying attention to you. Comment back to me and I will just ignore it. You’ve said enough as it is.

September 14, 2023 at 3:17 AM

I think it is going to be difficult to develop appealing attractions or shows when it comes to something which has to do with such a loaded issue like "nation" nowadays.

The risk of annoying or angering people with this almost holy topic is very high in my perception.

Times are probably over when someone like Barbra Streisand could say:

"It doesn't matter whether you're from red states or from blue states, tonight we're from the United States!"

Here's for hoping.

September 14, 2023 at 8:01 AM

Interesting that American Heartland theme park with "six distinctively American lands" is scheduled to open in 2026. Coincidence, or some actual intelligent planning?

September 14, 2023 at 9:23 AM

I just don't see this anniversary being nearly as popular as the '76 Bicentennial (full disclosure, I was far too young to actually remember that celebration, but have plenty of keepsakes from it, and still occasionally run across an old quarter). The changes in society and political climate make a celebration really problematic, and the lack of patriotism (and jingoism) around the country is liable to mute any enthusiasm for the occasion.

I'm sure the government will pull out all the stops, and I would expect theme parks with connections to traditional American ideals will have some special events and features. However, any expectation for parks to make massive investments or to celebrate this once (or twice) in-a-lifetime event.

September 14, 2023 at 10:16 AM

Joseph: Far left and far right Americans love to point out that a civil war is coming, and both want to blame the other side for it. As far as they are concerned, their side has the "normal" ones when a majority of American citizens fall somewhere in the middle.

KJ, I had not considered that when American Heartland was announced. If the park actually gets built, the semiquincentennial (which my spellcheck does not comprehend) will at least keep the park afloat for a year before quality and word-of-mouth take over.

Russell, I think it will depend on where you live. Rural America and the "flyover" states will embrace it. Outside of larger than normal fireworks displays and overly-commercialized celebrations, those on the east and west coast will largely ignore it.

September 14, 2023 at 11:15 AM

America Sings in the carousel theater in Disneyland! Those animatronics second life in Splash Mountain is over so now they will come full circle with another American Sings.

Seriously though, for Disney, a new and/or revamped Hall of Presidents or the American Adventure at Epcot will probably happen. Either will be a good idea.

September 14, 2023 at 11:48 AM

Maybe it’ll end up being like California’s observance of their 150th anniversary of statehood - a couple of minor observances, but mostly people shrugging and figuring they’ve got bigger things to worry about.

September 14, 2023 at 3:55 PM

Can’t be any worse than WDW’s 50th anniversary “celebration.”

September 15, 2023 at 7:27 AM

Leave it to the colonel to present his mental health issues in every single TPI comment thread. Shameful

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