Crossroads of the American Revolution Association has been selected as the private sector partner to work with the New Jersey Historical Commission within the state to plan commemorations and observances of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. The selection was made following passage of legislation earlier this year (A-4194/S-2738 (Coughlin/Weinberg, Beach) which directed the NJHC to partner with an organization focused on preserving and promoting New Jersey’s Revolutionary heritage.
“We’re eager to get to work to elevate New Jersey’s Revolutionary sites and events on the list of must-see destinations for visitors during the nation’s 250th anniversary,” said Crossroads Board Chair Ira Jersey. “Through this new partnership with the NJ Heritage Commission, we’ll build alliances with New Jersey’s business and civic communities to capitalize on the economic potential of attracting new visitors to the state during the anniversary. Our Revolutionary history is unique among the original 13 states, and Crossroads is proud to be chosen to help lead the effort to prepare our historic sites to share their stories.”
Designated by Act of the U.S. Congress to administer the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, Crossroads has built a network of more than 130 heritage and history groups, representing more than 200 Revolutionary-era sites in New Jersey. The organization promotes the state’s Revolutionary heritage and events, and provides professional development training to help organizations present authentic portrayals of 18th century life in the state.
“The 250th anniversary offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build awareness of New Jersey’s unsung role in the nation’s fight for independence,” said Crossroads Executive Director Janice Selinger. “The state was the site of more battles and skirmishes than anyplace else during the Revolution, making the war a daily reality for 18th century New Jerseyans. Residents were forced to make hard decisions about their allegiances, as those choices had real-life impact.”
The public-private partnership will continue to engage Crossroads’ Heritage Partners and other historic sites and organizations across the state in planning meetings and listening sessions, with the next gathering planned for early 2019. More information on the partnership and 250th planning is available from the New Jersey Department of State.