New Jersey prepares for America’s 250th birthday

Leah Mishkin, Correspondent | October 28, 2019 | Around NJ

In 2026, the United States will celebrate its 250th birthday. And even though that milestone is roughly seven years away, the New Jersey Historical Commission and Crossroads of the American Revolution are already getting started on preparation for the historic milestone.

The two organizations are using the expected influx of interest in U.S. history as an opportunity to tell the story of the American Revolution in the Garden State.

“There were more than 300 battles and skirmishes that took place in New Jersey,” said Janice Selinger, executive director of Crossroads of the American Revolution. “George Washington spent more time in New Jersey than any other states.”

As part of a public-private partnership, the two organizations enlisted the services of Trenton-based architect John Hatch to visit 140 American Revolutionary War sites in the state to assess each location’s readiness for tourists. Hatch says the eventual goal is to illuminate important parts of the Revolution by creating groupings of sites that people can visit during the anniversary — by doing so, he hopes to “bring the Revolution to life.”

On Thursday, the team went on a tour primarily focused on Trenton’s role in the war, which started off at at the William Trent House — home of William Bryant, a loyalist who treated wounded continental American soldiers and British soldiers during the Revolution. From there, the group made their way to the Old Barracks Museum and Saint Michael’s Church, and saw the Trenton Battle Monument, the location of the first Battle of Trenton. The next stop was Mill Hill Park, where the Second Battle of Trenton, otherwise known as the Battle of the Assunpink Creek, is commemorated.

The tour finished in Princeton, with trips to battlefield where the Battle of Princeton took place and the home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The state is also holding a logo contest to celebrate the anniversary, called “Engage the Past. Shape the Future.” New Jersey students and graphic artists can submit ideas until Nov. 25, and a winner will be announced during Patriot’s Week, from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31.