Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes that America’s upcoming 250th birthday can spark a rebirth of the love of freedom that ignited its original founding.
In an interview with Washington Examiner columnist Salena Zito on Monday, DeSantis said that, as president, he would go big for America’s 250th birthday in 2026, but that the celebration would actually be the culmination of a long-running effort to re-introduce Americans to their own history.
“I think we’ll do something big on the Fourth, but I think we need to do a lot starting in January 2025 to really build up to that,” the Republican governor told Zito.
“This is an opportunity to do some great civics education for this country.”
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DeSantis said he would do a series of events and highlight key Founding Fathers to explain how America got to July 4, 1776, and then used that moment to solidify the victory of the Revolution and build the U.S. government with the Constitution.
The governor said, as president, he’d really seek to get such knowledge back into America’s “bloodstream” because it has been a ‘lost art” in many school districts across the country.
“These are the unifying principles that make the country unique,” said DeSantis, “and these are things we need to be embracing, and we need to be proud of the history.”
He pointed how he has emphasized this for Florida’s schoolchildren. For example, in July 2021, DeSantis announced that the state would set aside $106 million to establish the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative, which would pay teachers a $3,000 bonus to participate in additional professional development devoted to the teaching of civics.
DeSantis noted that the Founders led successful lives, and it would have been easy for them, in order to not risk losing what they had, to concede to King George III and live without representative government.
But, he added, they understood that “if they gave an inch, then they would be consigning this whole continent to tyranny.”
“They stood up when very few people would have,” DeSantis continued. “That is a spirit of defending liberty that I think we can really use.”
“Hopefully, that’ll be an anniversary where we’ll really have a new birth of freedom in this country, as we reflect on it.”
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