In 1751, the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered the creation of a bell to celebrate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s Charter of Privileges. The Liberty Bell, as it would eventually be called, is one of America’s most recognized symbols of liberty. There’s part of a Bible verse inscribed on the bell. “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.” Comes from Leviticus 25:10.
A Little History
The first bell was delivered on September 1, 1752 in Philadelphia and then hung on March 10, 1753. But when it was hit with the clapper to ring it, the bell cracked. No one knew what had caused the problem, so two foundry workers melted down the bell and recast it, hoping to make it stronger.
In October 1777, the bell was removed and hidden in the floorboards of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown, PA after the British occupied the city so that it wouldn’t be taken and melted down for cannons.
The Traveling Bell
Today, the Liberty Bell still plays an important part in American history and tradition. At 2 p.m. Eastern time on the Fourth of July, the descendants of the original Declaration signers tap the bell 13 times (while bells across the U.S. ring 13 times) in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states. Since 1986, after Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow requested it, the bell is tapped in his honor.