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The Liberty Bell

Pennsylvania National Historic Landmark

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia; photo by Serguey on Wikipedia (use permitted with attribution).

International Symbol of Freedom

Tourists from all over the world come to Independence Hall in Philadelphia to see The Liberty Bell - an international symbol of freedom  All Pennsylvania Landmarks - All National Landmarks

The 2,000-pound Liberty Bell rang when the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Cast in London in 1752, the original liberty bell cracked on the very first strike in Philadelphia after arriving from England. The bell was recast (using the metal from the old bell) but the second bell was defective too. A third (and last) bell was cast which includes this inscription:

"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land
unto all the inhabitants thereof... "

This third Liberty Bell cracked sometime between 1817 and 1846. The earliest known use of the phrase "The Liberty Bell" was by the American Anti-Slavery Society - it appeared in the February 1835 issue of "The Anti-Slavery Record."

On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell summoned citizens of Philadelphia for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The Liberty Bell was also rung previously to announce the opening of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and after the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.