The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is a treasured symbol of the early days of American independence. It was rung on July 8, 1776 with other church bells to announce the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

The citizens of Pennsylvania paid about $300 in 1752 to have it built for their State House. The bell was first cast in England and sent by ship to the colony of Pennsylvania. It cracked when it was rung shortly after its arrival in America. It was recast by local craftsmen in Philadelphia from the same metal in 1753. The same inscription, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" was put on the bell. This saying is from the Bible (Leviticus 25:10). This bell also proved to be defective. A third bell was cast by John Pass and John Stowe. Their names appear on the bell along with the city and date. The bell was hung in the tower of Independence Hall on June 7, 1753. During the American Revolution in 1777 it was taken out of the tower for safe keeping when the British troops captured Philadelphia. It was moved to Zion’s Reformed Church in Allentown. In 1778 the bell was returned to Independence Hall.

The bell rang each year on the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence until 1835. The bell broke again on July 8th of that year while being rung during the funeral of John Marshall, chief justice of the United States. The crack in the bell affected the sound of the bell. The bell was last rung on February 23, 1846 for George Washington’s birthday.

On January 1, 1976 the Liberty Bell was moved to its new home at the Liberty Bell Pavilion on Market Street near Independence Hall.

Student Activity

Do more research on where, why, and why the Bell was made. Ask your teacher where to find information.