Chief Sponsor: Mike Winder

Senate Sponsor: Kirk A. Cullimore


10     Committee Note:
11          The Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee recommended
12     this bill.
13               Legislative Vote:     10 voting for     0 voting against     7 absent
14     General Description:
15          This concurrent resolution recognizes and commemorates the 250th anniversary, or
16     semiquincentennial, of the United States of America.
17     Highlighted Provisions:
18          This resolution:
19          ▸     recognizes the foundational, historical, and political significance of the signing of
20     the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4,
21     1776; and
22          ▸      requests that the Governor organize a commission to plan, encourage, develop, and
23     coordinate a statewide effort commemorating and celebrating the 250th anniversary
24     of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
25     Special Clauses:
26          None

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

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

90     Governor concurring therein, recognizes the foundational, historical, and political significance
91     of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and requests that the Governor organize a
92     commission to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of
93     Independence on July 4, 2026, to be staffed and administered by the Department of Heritage
94     and Arts.
95          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commission shall be inclusive and composed
96     of members with an interest in the celebration, expertise in related fields, and who represent
97     broad demographic and geographic diversity.