The Liberty Bell--symbol of America's freedom--resides at The Liberty Bell Center! You'll find video presentations and exhibits on the origin of the famous bell in a dozen languages here.
Here are some bell facts I obtained from the government website:
A bell for the Pennsylvania State House was cast in London, England, however, it cracked soon after it arrived in Philadelphia. Local craftsmen John Pass and John Stow cast a new bell in 1753, using metal from the English bell. Their names appear on the front of the bell. The bell was repaired in 1846 and rang for a George Washington birthday celebration, but the bell cracked again and has not been rung since. No one knows why the bell cracked either time.
The bell weighs about 2000 pounds. It is made of 70% copper, 25% tin and small amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver. It hangs from what is believed to be its original yoke, made from American elm, also known as slippery elm.
DID YOU KNOW...
**William Penn created Pennsylvania's government and allowed citizens to help make laws and gave them the privilege of choosing their religion. In 1751 the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered a new bell for the state House and asked that a Bible verse be inscribed:
'PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF" (LEVITICUS 25:10).
The bell rang many times when public announcements were made, but in 1776 it rang for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The Liberty Bell Center is open 9 am-5 pm daily.
On November 1, 1751, the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered a Bell to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges with the quotation "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," from Leviticus 25:10
The bell arrived in Philadelphia on September 1, 1752, but was not hung until March 10, 1753, on which day a crack appeared. Two attempts were made to melt and recast with the last one working on June 11, 1753
Tradition holds, it tolled for the First Continental Congress in 1774, the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and its most resonant tolling was on July 8, 1776, when it summoned the citizenry for the reading of the Declaration of Independence produced by the Second Continental Congress.
There is widespread disagreement about when the first crack appeared on the Bell. However, it is agreed that the final expansion of the crack which rendered the Bell unringable was on Washington's Birthday in 1846.
The Bell achieved an iconic status when abolitionists adopted the Bell as a symbol for the movement. It was first used in this association as a frontispiece to an 1837 edition of Liberty, published by the New York Anti-Slavery Society. . William Lloyd Garrison's anti-slavery publication The Liberator reprinted a Boston abolitionist pamphlet containing a poem about the Bell, entitled, The Liberty Bell, which represents the first documented use of the name, "Liberty Bell."
In 1847, George Lippard wrote a fictional story for The Saturday Currier which told of an elderly bellman waiting in the State House steeple for the word that Congress had declared Independence. Suddenly the bellman's grandson, who was eavesdropping on the doors of Congress, yelled to him, "Ring, Grandfather! Ring!". This story so captured the imagination of people throughout the land that
All of my life I had wanted to see the Liberty Bell. I had always imagined it as being in its "natural" bell environment, but it is in fact encased in its very own, heavily protected federal building. In order to get into this building you must first go into another building and wait in line to pass through an airport-style metal detector and bag check. If you set off the alarm they wand you. It is serious. After you pass through security you are allowed to see the bell which is roped off on all sides and tended by an armed guard. It was hard to get near enough to it to take a photo because there were so many Japanese tourists taking each other's photos in front of it, but I did it! Yayy for the Liberty Bell!!!
I think the Liberty Bell has finally found a permanent home at the Liberty Bell Center at Independence Mall. It has been moved around in a constant attempt to find the best place to display it and I think they've finally put it in a great spot.
The famous cracked bell is inscribed with the following:
"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof - Lev. XXV, v. x. By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania [sic] for the State House in Philada."
While this might be something that is more interesting and historically significant to Americans, I think it's message is for everyone.
OK OK OK ... Its just a bell. It's a famous bell, but it's just a bell with a crack in it. When the US declared independence from the British Empire, this is the bell that rang to proclaim the act. Ironically, it was forged in England. Still, the Liberty Bell is one of the most famous national symbols of the USA. The pavilion itself is not the stuff of legend. It's crowded, kids are screaming, and you'll never get a picture without a ton of people in the background, but its also the symbol of Philadelphia.
Security here is extremely tight, worse than in airports. The attraction is, however, free.
We got off at Fifth Street(at north side) and entered at the Visitor Center (pic 1) first to get a map of the park (Independence Mall) and our (free) timed tickets for the Independence Hall later in the day. We had about 3 hours for the tour in the Hall so we went first to check some other sites, and of course the best one is located just a few meters away from the Visitor Center.
It’s the Liberty Bell of course. We went through the security check and approached the Liberty Bell (pic 2). There is always a guard next to it because some years before a crazy man tried to damage the bell. We got our pics of it and then spend some time in the museum where we checked old photos and general info about the Liberty Bell (pics 3-4).
The bell weights about a tone and has a visible crack and that’s why all the souvenirs showing the bell are like broken ones :) It was first cast in London (in 1751), arrived in Philadelphia in 1752 and in the following decades it cracked, recast, cracked and recast again! Of course, it’s one of the most recognized icons in USA, most people know it because it rang to celebrate the Declaration of Independence on july 8, 1776.
The Liberty Bell center is open daily 9.00-17.00 and there’s no entrance fee.
Usually there’s a huge line waiting to get inside, hopefully we went there on a cloudy day when nobody else was around, so it was ok for me to see this cracked bell but as I said it’s a national symbol of USA. I was surprised that the bell is kind of small, I was expecting to see something big…
Anyway, we got outside on the Independence Mall again (pic 5), we were a few meters away from Independence Hall
One of America's most famous, instantly recognized icons, this bell was cast in London in 1751. The inscription reads "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (from the Bible, Leviticus 25:10). It arrived in Philadelphia the next year, where it soon cracked. It was recast, cracked again, and recast again.
On July 8, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the people gathered in front of Independence Hall. The rebellious colonists rang the bell to celebrate the event. During the war, it was hidden.
Afterward, it was replaced in the tower of Independence Hall. But it eventually cracked again. Since 1976, it's been on public display at the Liberty Bell Pavilion. Admission is free, but lines tend to be rather long.
The bell is mostly copper and tin, with small amounts of other metals. The yoke is made of American elm (also called slippery elm). It weighs just over a ton.
The Liberty Bell is a famous symbol of America's freedom. The bell was first cracked when it was 1st struck in 1757. Although it was recast a few times, it cracked at a later date, there are many legends and theories as to when this took place. The inscription on it reads "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the Inhabitants thereof LEV. XXV X. by order of the assembly of the province of Pennsylvania for the state house in Philadelphia pass and stow MDCCLIII"
Going to see the Liberty Bell is free of charge, however you do have to jump though a few hoops to get in. The Bell is fairly heavily guarded , you must pass through a metal detector like the ones they have at the airport, including x-ray belt for bags. I even had to take my belt off!
Once you get past that and further into the building, there are displays giving the history of the Liberty Bell, The final display being the bell itself. There is a lovely view of Independace Hall through the large glass window behind it. It's quite crowded with tons of tourists getting their photo taken in from of the bell.
The Liberty Bell's future home on 6th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets will provide visitors with a glorious view of Independence Hall. The thoughtful, angled placement of the Liberty Bell in a glass structure will make it possible to see Independence Hall against the sky rather than against a backdrop of 20th century buildings. The new Liberty Bell Center will incorporate three discrete but physically and thematicaly connected elements: a shaded outdoor arcade containing educational materials, an inside interpretive exhibit hall, and a new chamber for the Bell. In this new configuration visitors will have a chance to gain an understanding of the Liberty Bell's history and the many inspiring stories associated with it. The exhibits will be a fitting prelude to their personal and often emotional encounter with the nation's most recognized icon of freedom.
An international icon and one of the most venerated objects in the park, the Liberty Bell became a symbol of liberty because of its association with various struggles for freedom and not solely because of its association with the events of 1776-1787. It is irreparably damaged, it is fragile and imperfect, but (like the republic it symbolizes) it has weathered threats and has endured.
It is recognized worldwide and is matched only by the Statue of Liberty for its association with the rights of humankind. After arriving from England in 1752, the bell cracked during testing and was twice recast by local workmen. It was rung to proclaim important public occasions in the state house (Independence Hall) bell tower until it cracked again, and over the decades its history became a blend of fact and fiction. The inscription on the bell, Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof, contributed to its status as an icon.
The Liberty Bell was originally purchased from London and hung in the State House (now Independence Hall) steeple. It wasn't long before a crack formed on the bell causing it to be melted and recast twice before it finally stayed in the steeple. The final bell weighed more than 2000lbs and a visible crack can be seen till today.
The bell tolled many times to call the Assembly together and to summon people together for special announcements and events, namely the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.
You can visit this famous bell at the Liberty Bell Center since it was opened in October, 2003. The center is open daily 9am-5pm with extended hours July and August. The bell is visible 24 hours a day.
Here it is, the world famous Liberty Bell. What most everyone who comes to Philadelphia wants to see.
Thing is, it hasn't always been called the Liberty Bell. Its original name was the State House Bell, ordered for the Pennsylvania State House in 1751. It was first called the Liberty Bell in the 1830's, by a group trying to outlaw slavery. Obviously, the name stuck.
By the way, the famous crack didn't appear until the 1846. There's so much more to learn about the Liberty Bell. The best place to do so is in person. Admission to see the Bell is free, but you will have to go through a security check. My advice: go early and avoid the long lines.