New Jersey is getting ready to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

It won’t happen until 2026, but Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a measure that calls on the New Jersey Historical Commission to create a program focused on the anniversary of the independence of the United States and New Jersey’s first Constitution.

State Sen. Jim Beach, D-Camden, the chairman of the State Government, Wagering Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, said more must be done to promote awareness of the important role New Jersey played in the American Revolution, including the battles against the British and the strategy sessions Gen. George Washington presided over while here.

“It’s extremely important because our heritage is something that we always have to fight to maintain,” Beach said.

“We’ve seemed to have fallen behind some of our contiguous states when we really should be way out in front," he said. “I think we’ve not invested appropriately, and the return on investment for tourism is perhaps tenfold.”

Beach said many New Jerseyans as well as visitors don’t have an appreciation of our rich history because there is no easy way to locate many of the historic sites.

“If we do a better job with signage, we can let people know where things are. Without that it’s just a well-kept secret,” he said.

He said a simple way to help promote historic sites is to erect signs alerting people what attractions are nearby. He’s reaching out to the state Department of Transportation to discuss this.

The law signed by Murphy this month appropriates $500,000 to help the New Jersey Historical Commission as they prepare a celebratory program.

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