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Photograph: Pictured is Parish President Jessie Bellard signing the proclamation declaring the week of September 17th through 23rd as “Constitution Week.” (Submitted photograph.)

OPELOUSAS, LA – The Opelousas Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution would like to invite all people in St. Landry Parish to participate in a time-honored tradition known as The Bells Across America. There will be a gathering on the St. Landry Courthouse Square on Sunday, September 17, 2023, at 2:45 PM to ring the bell. A reception will be held at Java Square after the ringing of the bell.

The Daughters of the American Revolution also invite all Churches, businesses, and buildings with bells to ring on September 17 at 3:00 pm CST. Bells will sound for a full minute across America at 3 p.m. CST to commemorate the 236th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

The celebration will coincide across America, with each time zone adjusting its time to happen simultaneously.

The tradition of ringing the bells on Constitution Day began when, after four months of heated debate, the delegates reached an agreement on September 17, 1787. As they emerged from Independence Hall at 4 p.m. EST, all the church bells in Philadelphia were ringing to celebrate the signing of the Constitution.

This celebration of the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1955 when the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually for the observance of Constitution Week.

The U.S. Congress later adopted the resolution and signed it into public law on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.