Chief Sponsor: Mike Winder

Senate Sponsor: Kirk A. Cullimore

8     Cosponsor:
9     Jefferson Moss


12     General Description:
13          This concurrent resolution recognizes and commemorates the 250th anniversary, or
14     semiquincentennial, of the United States of America.
15     Highlighted Provisions:
16          This resolution:
17          ▸     recognizes the foundational, historical, and political significance of the signing of
18     the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4,
19     1776; and
20          ▸      requests that the Governor organize a commission to plan, encourage, develop, and
21     coordinate a statewide effort commemorating and celebrating the 250th anniversary
22     of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
23     Special Clauses:
24          None

26     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
27          WHEREAS, the United States Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was
28     adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776; and

29          WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence was drafted by a committee of five
30     representatives that included John Adams, a leader in the push for independence, and Thomas
31     Jefferson, who did most of the original drafting of the document; and
32          WHEREAS, the purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to announce formally
33     that the 13 American colonies were at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain and would
34     henceforth regard themselves as 13 independent, sovereign states, no longer subject to British
35     rule; and
36          WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence justified the independence of the United
37     States by listing the colonial grievances against King George III and asserting certain natural
38     and legal rights, including the right of revolution; and
39          WHEREAS, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail after the Declaration of
40     Independence's signing that he believed that Independence Day "will be celebrated, by
41     succeeding Generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated as the
42     Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized
43     with Pomp and Parade, with shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations
44     from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more"; and
45          WHEREAS, after ratifying the text on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress
46     issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms, sending a copy to each colony, King
47     George III of England, and General George Washington and ordering an official copy, which
48     was eventually placed on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. in February of
49     1924; and
50          WHEREAS, one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence was
51     displayed in the Utah State Capitol in February and March of 2002, as a centerpiece to the
52     Cultural Olympiad of the 2002 Utah Winter Olympics, and viewed by over 40,000 people; and
53          WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence contained principles that are of major
54     significance in the national heritage of the United States, including individual liberty,
55     representative government, and the attainment of equal and inalienable rights; and
56          WHEREAS, perhaps the most memorable sentence in the Declaration of Independence,

57     a sentence that was especially significant to President Abraham Lincoln during the American
58     Civil War, states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
59     they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
60     Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"; and
61          WHEREAS, President Lincoln considered the Declaration of Independence to be the
62     foundation of his political philosophy, calling it "a rebuke and stumbling block to tyranny and
63     oppression," and explained that the Declaration of Independence is a statement of principles
64     through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted; and
65          WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence inspired many similar documents in other
66     countries, including the Declaration of Flanders, issued during the Brabant Revolution in what
67     is modern-day Belgium, and documents issued during other independence movements in
68     Europe, Latin America, Africa, and New Zealand; and
69          WHEREAS, the lands that would become Utah were the homelands of Native
70     American tribes, including the Utes, Shoshone, Paiute, Goshutes, and Diné at the time of the
71     signing of the Declaration of Independence; and
72          WHEREAS, in the same year the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Spanish
73     territory of New Spain sent two Franciscan priests, Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de
74     Escalante, to find an overland route from Santa Fe to central California, the two priests thereby
75     becoming the first documented European explorers to travel through Utah; and
76          WHEREAS, all Utah citizens benefit from the principles espoused within the
77     Declaration of Independence, as well as the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights,
78     and studies have found Utah is one of the most patriotic states in the nation; and
79          WHEREAS, the Utah Territory's first governor, Brigham Young, stated regarding the
80     Declaration: "We as a people have more reason to respect, honor, love and cherish the
81     Government of the United States, and her Constitution and free institutions than any other
82     people upon the face of the earth"; and
83          WHEREAS, Public Law 114-196, passed by the 114th United States Congress and
84     signed by the President on July 22, 2016, establishes the United States Semiquincentennial

85     Commission and encourages similar state and local efforts to coordinate with the national
86     effort:
87          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
88     Governor concurring therein, recognizes the foundational, historical, and political significance
89     of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and requests that the Governor organize a
90     commission to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of
91     Independence on July 4, 2026, to be staffed and administered by the Department of Heritage
92     and Arts.
93          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commission shall be inclusive and composed
94     of members with an interest in the celebration, expertise in related fields, and who represent
95     broad demographic and geographic diversity.