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What: multiyear effort to commemorate the semi-quincentennial (250th) anniversary of the United States 


Who: a coalition of public and private partners coordinated by the non- partisan U.S. Semi-quincentennial Commission, created by Congress, and its supporting nonprofit America250 Foundation


Why: to catalyze a more perfect union by designing and leading the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our country’s history


When: 2020 – 2027 with the culmination on July 4, 2026


Mary Katherine Goddard produces
First complete print of the Declaration

The Declaration of Independence was an act of treason. The men that signed the parchment Declaration of Independence, now in the National Archives, were literally pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. They knew that their support of an act of independence would come back to haunt them if the British defeated George Washington and the Continental Army. If you take a closer look at a broadside printed in January 1777 by order of the Continental Congress, you'll notice another name committed to the cause. Not a signer, but a printer. Not a man, but a woman. Meet Mary Katherine Goddard, printer and postmaster to the Second Continental Congress in Baltimore. 


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Please consider putting your 

on a handsome check* or select this link to contribute online.

* Payable to:GiveWell Community Foundation MEMO: Path to Freedom

Lakeland Elks Lodge #1291 becomes First Corporate Sponsor for America 250 “Path to Freedom” Project

On November1st, Lakeland Elks Lodge #1291 donated $15,000 to the America 250 “Path to Freedom” Project to help kick start the two-and-a-half-year fundraising effort by the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Polk County Veterans Council and Platform Art to celebrate America’s 250th birthday on July 4, 2026. 

The America 250 “Path to Freedom” Project will include a free-standing, life-size bronze sculpture of Mary Katherine Goddard, the woman who  printed the Declaration of Independence, operating a printing press on which is the fully legible document  The monument will include etchings of the seminal events that led to the Revolution.  The sculpture, celebrating America’s 250th birthday will be placed in the City of Lakeland’s Veterans Park and will join the other 23 monuments that recognize the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military personnel and community’s first responders.  

The project also plans educational programs, including a lecture series, an educational video, lesson plans for schoolteachers, and free public docent-led tours which will highlight not only those who were the public face of the Revolution, but also those who served in our nascent military and the diverse supporters traditionally overlooked by history.

Pictured: Elk Members Don Selvage, Justin Troller, Exalted Ruler Bob Fuschetti, Board Chairman Eric Schlaack, Secretary Alice Murray, Trustee Michelle Schlaack, Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter Members J. Lenora Bresler, Marchella McGinnis, Platform Art Director Cynthia Haffey, Platform Art Board Members Hunter Johnson and Terry Coney, and Polk County Veterans Council Chairman Gary Clark.

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