Liberty Bell Facts

The Liberty Bell symbolizes American independence and democracy. The bell was originally commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter, which granted Pennsylvania its freedom from England. The bell was also originally known as the State House Bell.

It is now housed at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia.

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Liberty Bell Facts for kids

  • Its a symbol of the United States’ independence.
  • The bell cracked the first time it rang.
  • It was recast by John Pass and John Stow
  • It was named the Liberty Bell in the 1830s by anti-slavery supporters.
  • A Liberty Bell image can be found on stamps and money.
  • It was a symbol of freedom during the Cold War.

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The bell cracked, so John Pass and John Stow offered to fix it. They smashed it with sledgehammers, then melted it and recast it, adding in some copper to further strengthen it.

It was finally finished in 1753, but when it first rang, it sounded harsh and dull. The people were so terribly disappointed again Pass and Stowe were quite determined to make it right. It was taken apart, melted, and tin was added. Its sound improved a little bit, but it was still not as beautiful as people hoped.

Congress read the newly signed Declaration of Independence to American citizens on July 8, 1776. 

The bell rang out following the Declaration of Independence’s reading.  Written on it are the words, “Proclaim Liberty to all the Peoples of this Land,” a phrase that comes from the Bible. Suddenly, it seemed to be more significant and unique.

It was hidden from the British under a church floor during the American Revolution. It rang when Britain surrendered York Town in 1783. And it rang when the peace treaty was signed one year later.

Once the war was over, it was reinstalled in the Assembly building, which after the war was renamed Independence Hall.

Only on special occasions was it used after the war. They rang it in 1835 at the death of Justice John Marshall. However, it cracked again. It was replaced, and the old bell was forgotten.

It was used at times to announce public announcements and meetings.

A Newspaper writer then suggested ringing the cracked bell on George Washington’s birthday by 1846. Suddenly, the old bell was popular again and was called  “The Liberty Bell.”

In 1847, there was a story that the bell rang on July 4, 1776, the country’s first Independence Day, But neither story has been confirmed by current records.

The Pennsylvania State House has been renamed Independence Hall since then. The old bell is now kept in a glass case across the street. It rings on holidays and special occasions.

Bell’s Measurements

  • Approximately, it has a weight of 2,080 pounds.
  • It has a circumference of 12 feet around the bell’s lip.
  • The bell measures 3 feet high from its lip to its crown.

Background of the Liberty Bell

It is one of the most iconic symbols of American independence. It is located on the highest point in Philadelphia.

As the city was rapidly expanding, a bell tower was built in the Pennsylvania State House. Penn’s original Constitution was written 50 years ago, and this bell marks that milestone.

The City bell, like the State House bell, was used for public announcements and alerts of danger.

They really needed it to be better quality and be heard from farther away.

Isaac Norris, the Pennsylvania speaker, ordered a bell from the Whitechapel Foundry in London in 1751.

After it broke after the first test rung, John Pass and John Stow from Philadelphia melted the alloy down and cast a brand new one.

Its ringing signaled not just victory in the war but marked a new era for America.

The Liberty Bell is inscribed with words from Leviticus 25:10–20, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof,”

Famous Engravings on the Liberty Bell

The engravings on the Liberty Bell include the following: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” which is a verse from Leviticus 25:10. From the Bible, this verse is interpreted to mean that liberty extends to everyone. But there are many other different interpretations of these words.

Symbolic Meanings of the Different Sides of the Bell

The shape of a bell is not merely aesthetic but has symbolic meaning.

As the bell rotates in the air, the different sides of the bell symbolize different aspects of life.

The backside symbolizes giving and receiving.

The front side symbolizes being active and useful to society while also having some free time for oneself.

The right side means one is open-minded and willing to embrace new opportunities, whereas the left side indicates being inconsistent with decisions or in denial about certain obstacles.

Why is the Liberty Bell Important?

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence and the ideals it represents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you touch the Liberty Bell?

Many people remember touching the Liberty Bell while visiting the city as children. Now it is closely monitored due to someone making an attempt at another crack!  

The bell is now behind glass to help protect it

Visitors can visit the Liberty Bell Center, open since 2003

What word is spelled incorrectly on the Liberty Bell

On the bell, a quote says, “By Order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada.” Pennsylvania is spelled wrong, but it’s said that this was how people spelled it at the time.

Are there 2 Liberty Bells

There is only one true real Liberty Bell, but this is where the story gets interesting. There are lots of replicas around the country in various towns and cities. You can read a really interesting article here

How much is the Liberty Bell worth

I don’t think you can really put a price on how much it is worth, and I’m sure the state of Pennsylvania would never sell it.