Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Liberty Bell is a treasured relic from the beginning of the American fight for independence. Along with church bells, the Liberty Bell was rung on July 8, 1776 to announce the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It rang on every successive anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration until 1835. The bell cracked on July 8, 1835, while being rung during the funeral of John Marshall, the chief justice of the United States. The Liberty Bell was first cast in England in 1752 at an approximate cost of $300 paid by the colonial province of Pennsylvania. It was inscribed, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," a quote from Leviticus 25:10 in the Bible. It broke after its arrival in America and was recast in Philadelphia in 1753, using the same metal and the same inscription. It weighs more than 2,080 pounds. The relic was known as the Old State House Bell until about 1839 when abolitionists began to refer to it as the Liberty Bell. The bell hung in Independence Hall for over two hundred years from 1753 until January 1, 1976, when it was moved to the Liberty Bell Pavilion, just north of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell is no longer rung, but it has been struck on important occasions. One such occasion was on June 6, 1944, when Philadelphia officials struck the bell in honor of the Allied forces landing in France and sound equipment broadcast the tone to all parts of the United States. The Liberty Bell is a good reminder to all of us to "let Freedom ring" throughout our land. Facts and quotes for this post came from an article by Theodore Hershberg in World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 12, pp 232-233.