In today’s “Dear Abby” column, a letter from a former White House aide stated that, “At 2 p.m., July Fourth, I would love nothing better than for all Americans to stop briefly and give our country a ring. On July 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the ringing of the bells nationwide with the words, Let’s ring freedom bells! Since then, many Americans have forgotten to keep the tradition going. Let’s start it again!”


Petaluma supports this tradition; however, it was started one year prior to the president’s 1963 proclamation, in 1962 by local citizens.. This year’s “Bell Ringing” ceremony, sponsored by the Petaluma Museum Association, will take place from 10:30-11:00 a.m. on the steps of the Historical Library & Museum (4th & B Streets), to be followed by lemonade and cookies in the Garden Court. The program will include:


Color Guard Ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance – Boy Scout Troop 9

Welcome and Introductions – Harry Nieuwboer, PMA President

Reading of the Proclamation – Mayor David Glass

Petaluma’s Bell Ringing Tradition – “William Howard Pepper”

The Story of the 4th of July – “Isaac Wickersham”

The Signers of the Declaration of Independence

The Ringing of the Bell at 11:00 a.m.

Everyone gets to ring the bell, and then …

Adjourn to the Museum’s Garden Court


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