Liberty Bell facts
Summer is nearly upon us. We have plans for trips to see relatives and visit historical sites. If you are fortunate enough to be heading east and you are anywhere within radar range of Philadelphia, PA, you may wish to see this great American symbol of freedom.
The Liberty Bell is one of the things most of us associate with Pennsylvania. Did you know the first one was actually forged in England? Rather ironic, eh? That first bell, commissioned in 1751 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of William Penn’s Charter of Privileges, the state’s original constitution, had a crack in it when it arrived, so it was melted down in America and recast. (Of course, the second bell also developed a crack.) The bell, originally known as the State house bell, bears these words from Leviticus 25:10— Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. And on July 8, 1776, the bell did, indeed, proclaim liberty, as it rang from the tower of Independence Hall to summon all citizens to come hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Later on, abolitionists adopted the bell as their symbol, and they’re credited with renaming it the Liberty Bell. Following the Civil War, the bell was taken on a tour around the country as a symbol of unity, and a replica of the bell later toured to promote women’s suffrage. The replica’s clapper was chained to its side during that time, keeping it silent until women won the right to vote. When the nineteenth amendment was ratified, the replica bell was brought to Independence Hall, and rung in celebration.