First meeting of the Utah America250 Commission, launched by Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox.

Happy Birthday, America — with Utah Style

Gov. Spencer J. Cox says he has been anticipating celebrating America’s 250th Birthday as long as he’s been alive. After all, his wife was a bicentennial baby, whose parents gave her “a good bicentennial name: Abigail.”

At the launch of Utah’s America250 Commission on June 6, the governor applauded the regional projects that were built across Utah in 1976. Then he urged the community and business leaders he appointed to the commission to “think big.” “As we look at those efforts and we look forward, I want you to be  ambitious,” he said. “I want you to remind us what it means to be American, what it means to be from this state.”

At the meeting, Gov. Cox passed on advice from businessman Warren Buffet, who said if you ask Americans to do something, ask them to do something big. Small doesn’t work. Instead, appeal to American greatness.

Graphic national brand for the America250 campaign.

Utah was selected as one of 18 state partners of America250, an initiative to mark the country’s upcoming anniversary on July 4, 2026. The geographically diverse Utah commission aims to plan programs that fit under categories such as: Educate, Engage, and Unite.

The Utah commission’s co-chairs are Ron Fox, a public historian and lobbyist; Mindy Benson, president of Southern Utah University; and Christine Durham, a lawyer and former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court. The commission is staffed by Ladawn Stoddard of the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement.