The United States has many symbols and iconic figures that represent the American way of life and its beliefs as a nation. Some of the national symbols are the Statue of Liberty, the Declaration of Independence and the National Anthem to name a few. However, another symbol that is recognized worldwide is that of the Liberty Bell. This 2 thousand pound bell with the famous crack in it symbolizes freedom for all people. The bell used to ring for special occasions. It also went through several transformations since its first release in 1753.
The Liberty Bell today, sits in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the bell resides in the United States, its origin and development took place in London, England where it was first cast or molded in 1752. As it were, the new site for the Liberty Bell was to stand in the Nation's Capital. During the time of George Washington, the Nation's Capital was not Washington DC, but Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the Nation's Capital from 1790 to 1800. There have been two different bells created since the original, all because the makers were trying to produce a bell that would not crack. The original bell cracked the first time it rang after making its arrival in Philadelphia. A second and third bell was created, but these also proved to be made with defective metal, for the crack appeared in the new models as well. When it came to recasting the bells for improvement, it was done at the hands of John Pass and John Stow in 1753.The third bell was the last one to be made, and even though the crack appeared; what made the third bell different from the other two is the fact that the last bell has an inscription on it that states; "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants there of...." According to history, the crack appeared in the third bell between 1817 and 1846.
Another flaw in the creation of the Liberty Bell besides the issue of cracking was the sound of the bell tone when rung. The tone of the bell did not please the town's people or the State Assembly Heads. John Pass and John Stow tried to remedy both the cracking and the defective tone. Once the bell became acceptable it tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. It last rang in 1846 for the celebration of George Washington's birthday.
As mentioned earlier, the bell rang for special occasions. In 1776, the bell tolled to recognize the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Although we call this iconic symbol "the Liberty Bell" today, the phrase the Liberty Bell came about through the American-Anti Slavery Society in 1839. The original name given to this symbol was the Providence Bell or the State House Bell. The Liberty Bell has a wooden yolk, which was made from the American elm tree. The Bell itself is made of copper, tin and a little bit of gold and silver. If you stand beside the bell, you will find that it has a height of 3 feet and a 12 foot diameter around the lip of the bell.
When it comes to freeing a people or a nation of tyranny, slavery and oppression; the Liberty Bell proclaims a connection to the freedoms of all people; regardless of sex, creed or color. The Liberty Bell represents political freedom, religious freedom and freedom of slavery. It is the symbol that is universal and one that is recognized by all nations.
For more interesting information on the Liberty Bell, please see the following links.
- About the Liberty Bell On this history website, the information covers briefly the Liberty Bell background. It also discusses the crack and the bell as a symbol.
- Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell This article is an essay written on the topic of the Liberty Bell. It gives a historical view of the iconic bell, mentioning its inscription.
- Liberty Bell and the Independence National Historical Park The information given here is on the Independence National Historical Park. Article shows the location of the Liberty Bell. There are some great photos with this article.
- Slavery and the Liberty Bell This is a brief interview transcript given by Charles Blackson, a historian. His interview covers the topic of slavery and the Liberty Bell.
- Liberty Bell: An American Icon This short but informative article discusses the 3rd bell that was created. The information tells when the 3rd bell cracked.
- Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell This is an essay featuring Benjamin Franklin as an inventor. The essay shows that it was Benjamin Franklin who designed the Liberty Bell.
- Liberty Bell Facts The information contained on this website shows how the Liberty Bell was used in certain situations and events.
- The Arrival of the Liberty Bell Historical information is contained in this article. Information covers the arrival of the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania. Information also reveals the names of the two men responsible for recasting the bell.
- The Day the Liberty Bell came to Los Angeles This article covers the day the Liberty Bell made an appearance in Los Angeles. Also mentioned is a brief history and an account of when it tolled for a funeral procession.
- Casting the Liberty Bell This is a short informative article that explains in detail the casting of the Liberty Bell.
- Pennsylvania and the Liberty Bell An in depth article that takes a look at the Liberty Bell and its beginning. It gives the main purpose of the bell and how it was used in the State House.
- Liberty Bell History for Kids This article gives a full description of the Liberty Bell. The article comes with interesting facts and figures of the bell.
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Liberty Bell This is the website of the Liberty Bell Museum. You will find answers to questions such as when the bell cracked, who owns the Liberty Bell and what the bell is made of.
- A Historical look at the Liberty Bell Given on this site is a brief history of the Liberty Bell. The article explains how the bell came into existence and how Pennsylvania became its home.
- The Story of the Liberty Bell This brief social studies article gives a brief history of the Liberty Bell. It tells its story of how, when and why it came about. Also listed are facts that tell how much it weighs and how tall it is.
- The Crack in the Liberty Bell This is another brief article giving a description of the Liberty Bell and its famous crack. The article explains that the bell seen today is actually the 3rd bell to be cast.
- Definition: Liberty Bell This website dictionary has detailed information the covers the history of the Liberty Bell. It speaks of the inscription and its 18th century history.
- Symbols of Liberty: The Liberty Bell When it comes to liberty, the United States has many iconic symbols. This website covers some of these memorable symbols, including that of the Liberty Bell.
- Liberty Bell Information Since the Liberty Bell is part of the historic Philadelphia history, the information found on this site gives highlights of the arrival of the bell to the city. Information is brief but detailed, showing how people today respect and honor the Liberty Bell.
Tickets are not required to see the Liberty Bell. You can visit the Liberty Bell between the hours of 9am and 5pm daily. Hours are extended in the Summer months. Visitors can enter on 6th St. between Chestnut and Market Streets.