An iconic symbol of American Independence
Discover the sights and sounds of American freedom at the Liberty Bell. Legend has it that the bell was rung to summon the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon on July 8, 1776. Get up close to one of the most important symbols of liberty and democracy in the US.
As well as its significance to American Independence, it also played a crucial role in the abolition of slavery. The Liberty Bell has been ringing the changes in American society for over 250 years.
History that chimes
Originally placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, today you’ll find it in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Hop off the Philadelphia bus tour right outside.
Take a closer look at the bell and you’ll notice a hefty crack in it. The story goes that this first appeared on George Washington’s birthday, February 23, 1846. The Liberty Bell may not ring any longer, but its historic chime still echoes.
Other interesting facts about the Liberty Bell
- The bell’s timeless inscription reads – ‘Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof’
- The bell was originally commissioned in 1751 to celebrate 50 years since William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges
- The bell weighed 2,080 lbs (943 kgs) when cast and is made from 70% copper, 25% tin and small amounts of gold, lead, silver and arsenic
- The wide crack in the bell is actually the result of a repair job, carried out by workman to prevent the original hairline fracture getting worse
- Although an integral part of US independence, the bell was actually made in London, England, by afirm called Lester and Pack.