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Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, Maryland Department of Planning Announce Appointments to Maryland Semiquincentennial Commission Commemorating the Birth of America

First Meeting of Full Commission October 28


ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives and the Maryland Department of Planning today announced appointments of the Maryland Semiquincentennial Commission, which is charged with planning the 2026 commemoration of the American Revolution and the birth of our nation.

“America’s 250th birthday is a momentous occasion that will celebrate all of the events and people who made this grand experiment in democracy such a tremendous success,” said Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Director Steven McAdams. “Maryland played a key role in the founding of our country, and we will be sure to plan the best commemoration possible that incorporates our historic landmarks, the great diversity of our people, and the seeds of freedom planted within our borders.”

Author and media entrepreneur Nina Easton will serve as chairman of the commission. Former Montgomery County Executive and County Councilman Isiah “Ike” Leggett is vice chairman designate pending a vote by the full commission. 

“As one on the lead agencies, the Maryland Department of Planning is excited to work alongside the Governor’s Coordinating Offices under the Governor’s Executive Order to assist the Commission,” Planning Secretary Rob McCord said. “This commemoration will not only be about the American Revolution. It will be about showing how we have grown as a nation and how the blessings of liberty are still continuing to unfold.”

Maryland’s unique history is inextricably linked to America’s very underpinnings. The colonial Act of Tolerance laid the foundations of our Constitution’s First Amendment. George Washington famously resigned his commission as commander of the Army in Annapolis in 1783. Annapolis was the temporary capital of the United States and still features the oldest working State House in America. Maryland is also home to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and historic African American leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Thurgood Marshall. The famous Maryland 400 quite possibly saved the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Brooklyn. 

“Maryland will be sure to commemorate a 250th birthday that matches our state’s indispensable contributions to the birth of our nation,” Easton said. “We intend to tell the rich story of the people, places, and things that only Maryland could provide in the pursuit of liberty, freedom, and the American spirit — and this includes often underrepresented voices who must be part of this historic narrative.”

The first meeting of the full commission will be held virtually today at 1 p.m.

Members of the public are welcome to attend by following the link:

For more information, go to

Commission Roster

  • Chair, Nina J. Easton, SellersEaston Media 
  • Vice Chair Designate, Ike Leggett, former executive of Montgomery County 
  • Elaine Bachmann, State Archivist
  • Angelica Bailey, Maryland Municipal League
  • Lindsey Baker, Maryland Humanities Council
  • Gregory Bartles, Maryland Natural Resources Police Volunteer 
  • Luis Borunda, Secretary of State’s Office
  • Jack Broderick, Kent Island Heritage Society
  • Keith Colston, Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
  • Gene Deems, Department of Natural Resources
  • Judith Emmel, Maryland Commission for Women  
  • Joni Floyd, University of Maryland 
  • Hon. Joseph M. Getty, Maryland Court of Appeals
  • Kris A. Hoellen, B&O Railroad Museum 
  • Elizabeth Hughes, Maryland Historical Trust
  • Patrick J. Lally, The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives in the Governor’s Coordinating Offices
  • Steven X. Lee, Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture
  • Bruce Lesh, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Pete Lesher, Maryland Association of Counties
  • Mark Letzer, Maryland Center for History and Culture
  • Luis A Luna, Department of General Services
  • Robert S. McCord, Maryland Department of Planning
  • Denise Nooe, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Nicholas Redding, Preservation Maryland
  • Tom Riford, Department of Commerce
  • Reggie Turner, Commission on African American History and Culture
  • Mark Wasserman, appointed by Speaker of the House of Delegates
  • Paul Webb, Department of Budget and Management


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