Preparations Underway For Jacksonville’s 200th Birthday

Jul 16, 2021

Jacksonville is getting ready for an important birthday next year:  In June of 2022, the city will celebrate its 200th anniversary. 

The Jacksonville Historical Society is hard at work on a full six months of celebrations, beginning with a bicentennial commemoration next January and culminating in a bicentennial celebration scheduled for June 15, 2022. 

A planning task force includes Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Library, the First Coast YMCA and the group 904WARD. Major sponsors include the City of Jacksonville, Haskell, Marks Gray P.A., and Wingard Creative, the agency that designed the Jacksonville Bicentennial logo. 

“Each task force member, and indeed every organization in Jacksonville, is being encouraged to brand their 2022 events with the bicentennial mark, indicating support of this important milestone,” said Alan J. Bliss, chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Historical Society, in an email to WJCT News. “If you are already planning an event for 2022, now is the time to co-brand your theme with the Jacksonville Bicentennial logo.”

According to the Jacksonville Historical Society, Jacksonville’s name first appeared in print in a June 15, 1822, petition to then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. In the petition, 61 people living near the St. Johns River asked that “Jacksonville” be recognized as a port of entry in the Territory of Florida. 

Credit Jacksonville Historical Society

“Adams denied their petition, but after that, the name ‘Jacksonville’ began to supplant previous references to ‘the cow-ford,’ or ‘Cowford,’” Bliss said. “It would be nearly 10 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.”

Learn about the planning committee and get a sneak peek at the bicentennial logo at Jax200.org, which will also host a calendar of all the anniversary events. 

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.