By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some prominent Philadelphians have been selected for the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission: the group that’s planning the nation’s 250th birthday.

The Commission was created by a federal law that states it must meet at Independence Hall to plan festivities for the milestone birthday in 2026.

Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, along with Congressman Pat Meehan and Bob Brady, helped get it passed and are on the Commission.

The law required 16 citizens also to serve, and that group is now complete with the recent selection of Penn President Amy Gutman and Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen.

“The 250th birthday of the United States only comes around once every 250 years,” said Cohen.

He says the celebration will be national, but he thinks Philadelphia should be the centerpiece.

“Philadelphia obviously has some unique assets; the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Independence Mall; as a foundation for the celebration. It creates an opportunity for brand and image development and, once again, an opportunity to put Philadelphia on the map as a fantastic destination city,” Cohen said.

The President still has to pick a chairman from among the 16 citizens. The group has one year to report back its recommendations.

A separate group, USA250, is working on planning Philadelphia’s part.

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