Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Why is the Liberty Bell Special? Thirteen Some Facts about the Bell

The Liberty Bell is cracked. It was broken when it first arrived in the Colonies. A number of repairs later and it sounded less than musical. Bad enough that neighbors complained when it was rung, so…why does it inspire many?

There are many factors, but the first is probably because of the words etched into the bell. Underneath, “By order of the Province of Pensylvania (No, this isn’t a misspelling. This was one of the correct spellings for Pennsylvania at the time) for the Statehouse in the City of Philadelphia, 1752,” are the words, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land and unto all the Inhabitants Thereof.”
This is a scriptural quote from Leviticus 25: 10, which is, “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
In 1837, the New York Anti-Slavery Society featured a picture of the bell on their publication Liberty. Then a couple years later another anti-slavery magazine, known as the Liberator, included a poem about the bell calling it “The Liberty Bell” and the name stuck. (Previously people were simply calling it the Statehouse Bell.)
The Liberty Bell has been hailed as a symbol of freedom ever since. It rang to mark the birthday of George Washington, and to mourn the passing of Chief Justice John Marshall, which is when most people believe it developed its trademark crack.
But even cracked, it still proclaims freedom.
When slavery ended in the United States in 1865, the Liberty Bell traveled in hopes of bringing the people in the North and South back together. It traveled until 1915 when it was permanently returned to Philadelphia.

 In 1945, people used a rubber mallet to sound the bell to proclaim the end of World War II.
And currently almost 1.5 million people visit the Liberty Bell each year.   I was one of those people and here’s one of the shots I snapped.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me go on about the bell.

Sources (This is where I found the Thursday Thirteen header.) Thanks Heather.

The Liberty Bell by Debra Hess
The Liberty Bell by Mary Firestone
The Liberty Bell by Hall Marcovitz


  1. Good post. I had forgotten some of the history and some I didn't know. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year! The Food Temptress

  2. OMG someone had a TT on the liberty bell a couple of weeks ago. It included how it was sent and received cracked. I am just now reminded of a Leonard Cohen line: There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets through.

    1. Colleen,
      That was me. The Liberty Bell was cracked, fixed and cracked again. I love your quote about cracks being where the light gets through. Thanks.

  3. Interesting to read some history of something I've never heard of. Thanks for this post.

  4. The closest I've come to seeing the Liberty Bell is the replica on display at the Capitol in Madison. l-) My T13

    1. I'm still pretty excited about getting to see the actual Liberty Bell. Thanks.

  5. Wait. We ADDED an N? Why did we do that!?

    My TT is here:

    1. Alice Audrey,
      I don't have an answer. I'm not sure, but I'll see if I can find out or correct my mistake if that's needed. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. Entertaining and interesting! I love our history, however cracked it may be.