The Liberty Bell

The chime that changed the world was heard on July 8, 1776, as the Liberty Bell rung out from the tower of Independence Hall to summon Philadelphia citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The Pennsylvania Assembly ordered 2,000-pound copper and tin bell in 1751 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s original constitution. The bell cracked on its first ring, recast twice, and finally was hung in 1753. When the British captured Philadelphia in 1777 after an American loss at the Battle of Brandywine, the Liberty Bell was removed from the city and hidden in the floorboards of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Bell was brought back to Philadelphia in 1778, but not rehung until 1785 when the State House steeple was rebuilt. The Bell reads a quotation from the Old Testament, “Proclaim the Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” and is a symbol of liberty and unity to all American citizens to this day.

Listen to the Bell as it sounded on that day: