Washington Memorial Chapel plans Women’s Suffrage Commemoration

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(MONTCO.Today file photo) Washington Memorial Heritage reveals plans for a Women's Suffrage Commemoration in August of 2020, centered around the Justice Bell.

The Washington Memorial Heritage has revealed plans for a Women’s Suffrage Centennial commemoration.

The Washington Memorial Heritage is a non-profit part of Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge. The commemoration is slated for August of 2020 and will be centered around the Chapel’s Justice Bell, which marks the passing of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.

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The Justice Bell is also known as the women’s Liberty Bell, according to Maria Bomerbach, President of Washington Memorial Heritage Board of Directors and Chair. The Justice Bell is boldly displayed the atrium of the National Patriots Bell Tower of the Chapel.

Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger commissioned the casting of a duplicate Liberty Bell in 1915, adding the inscription “Establish Justice” to garner attention in the fight for women’s right to vote. Katherine Wentworth Ruschenberger gifted the duplicate Liberty Bell to the Washington Memorial Chapel and has been located there since the 1920s. The National Patriots Bell Tower and Carillon were finished in 1953 with the financial support of members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

“Women and men of all races and religions enabled the passage of the 19th Amendment so it is suitable that the Justice Bell’s inscription ‘Establish Justice’, which was used as a key message, remains as important today as it was when great Aunt Katharine communicated it,” said Alexandra Tatnall, Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger’s great niece and Honorary Chair of the event.

Justice Bell 2020 is now partnering with Pennsylvania Society Daughters of American Revolution, Drexel University’s Vision 2020, Valley Forge Park Alliance, and many other local and national organizations to ensure history is preserved accurately.

“Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger developed an innovative plan to focus attention on the quest for passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that would provide women with Justice. The bell that she commissioned, its travels, the chaining of its clapper and its celebratory ringing when the Amendment finally passed has created a history that will be commemorated during the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. We are proud and honored to be a sponsor of this journey,” said Cynthia Sweeney, State Regent PSSDAR.

For more information about Justice Bell 2020 contact maria9at)wmheritage.org

For more information about the Washington Memorial Chapel, click here.

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