A city only gets one bicentennial.

Jacksonville deserves a moment to reflect on its first 200 years, and to glance ahead at the next 200.

Dear Jacksonvillians,

The countdown to our city’s bicentennial has begun. But let us first take a step back in time to set the stage for our commemoration next year.

The founding of Jacksonville was a rather informal moment – which makes it all the more important that citizens commemorate and celebrate the bicentennial of the founding.

Jacksonville’s name appeared first on a petition dated June 15, 1822, addressed to then U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams asking him to designate “Jacksonville,” in the U.S. Territory of Florida, as a port of entry. Sixty-one residents of the St. Johns River signed the request. Adams denied their petition, but after that, the name “Jacksonville” began to supplant previous references to “the cow-ford,” or “cowford.”

It would be nearly ten years, in February 1832, before the territorial legislature granted a local government charter to Jacksonville. But the development of Jacksonville, by people using that name, began in June of 1822, so that is the date and evidence that historians cite as its founding.

A city only gets one bicentennial. Jacksonville deserves a moment to reflect on its first 200 years, and to glance ahead at the next 200.

Alan J. Bliss, Ph.D.
CEO, Jacksonville Historical Society

Coming Soon!

Please visit again to check out information about bicentennial merchandise, how to request bicentennial brand assets and usage guideline, a bicentennial events calendar (to submit your event, too), historical content and more!

Photo Credit: Visit Jacksonville

The Bicentennial Task Force

The Jacksonville Historical Society is pleased to serve as both catalyst and coordinator of events, historical content and bicentennial-branded merchandise for the City of Jacksonville and its citizens.

In partnership with about two dozen organizations focused on Arts & Culture, Business & Industry, Education, Environment, Faith, Government, Health & Wellness, Media, Nonprofit, and Sports & Entertainment, the Jacksonville Historical Society kicked off planning for the Bicentennial Commemoration June 15, 2021 and will provide opportunity for interested parties to plan programs and events leading up to a Bicentennial Celebration on June 15, 2022. Please come back soon to view the list of organizations and their representatives who will comprise the Jacksonville Bicentennial Task Force.

The Jacksonville Historical Society

Photo Credit: Visit Jacksonville

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