In, 1752, Isaac Norris, Assembly Speaker and the Chairman
of the State House Superintendents asked the Assembly's
agent in London, Robert Charles, to buy a bell. He wrote
in his instructions: Let the Bell be cast by the best
Workmen & examined carefully before it is Shipped with
the following words well shaped in large letters round in vizt.
By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania
for the State house in the City of Philada 1752 and Underneath
Proclaim Liberty thro' all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof.
Levit. XXV.10 The verse in Leviticus reads, in full, "And ye shall
hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the
Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof." The Liberty Bell did
not ring on July 4, 1776 for the Declaration of Independence.
The reason? The Declaration is dated July 4, 1776, but on that
day, the Declaration was sent to the printer. July 8, 1776,
The Bell was rung to announce the first public reading of the
Declaration of Independence. Bells tolled throughout the
city on that day. Some historians note that the steeple was in
bad condition and that perhaps the Liberty Bell did not toll this day.
Lacking any record of a replacement bell or measures taken to
find an alternate way to ring major events, we feel confident
in saying that the Liberty Bell rang. 1976 12:01 A.M. To help
celebrate America's Bicentennial, the Liberty Bell was moved
from Independence Hall to a pavilion across the street on
Independence Mall. The Pavilion which allows visitors to
view the Bell at any time during the day was designed by
Mitchell Giurgola and Associates. Copyright © 1998-2001
by the Independence Hall Association
The History of the Liberty Bell
from the Liberty Bell Timeline
Liberty Bell, historic bell in Independence
National Historical Park in Philadelphia, rung on July 8, 1776,
after the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The bell weighs 943.5 kg (2080 lb) and is 3.7 m (12 ft) in
circumference at the lip. The bell bears the following inscription:
Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants
Thereof. Leviticus XXV:X. The bell was ordered in 1751
and was cast in London. It arrived in Philadelphia in August 1752
and was cracked while being tested. It was melted down,
and a second bell was cast in April 1753, but this one was also defective.
A third was cast in June of that year, by the firm of Pass and
Stowe in Philadelphia. On June 7, 1753, the third bell was hung in the tower
of Independence Hall. In 1777, during the American Revolution,
British troops occupied Philadelphia. The bell was removed from
the tower and taken to Allentown, Pennsylvania, for safekeeping.
It was returned to Philadelphia and replaced in Independence Hall in 1778.
Thereafter, the bell was rung on every July 4 and on every state occasion
until 1835, when, according to tradition, it cracked as it was
being tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.
The bell was moved to its present location in a glass pavilion near
Independence Hall in 1976.
Liberty Bell, Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia.
1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved
The Liberty Bell Virtual Museum
This museum houses a collection of Liberty Bell memorabilia and
souvenirs dating back to the 1800's. Herein also lies a web site
for the promotion, study and appreciation for America's most widely
recognized icon of freedom - the Liberty Bell.
Independence Bell - July 4, 1776
There was a tumult in the city In the quaint old Quaker town,
And the streets were rife with people Pacing restless up and down -- People
gathering at corners, Where they whispered each to each, And the sweat
stood on their temples With the earnestness of speech. As the bleak
Atlantic currents Lash the wild Newfoundland shore, So they beat against the
State House, So they surged against the door; And the mingling of their voices
Made the harmony profound, Till the quiet street of Chestnut Was all turbulent
with sound. "Will they do it?" "Dare they do it?" "Who is speaking?"
"What's the news?" "What of Adams?" "What of Sherman?" "Oh, God grant
they won't refuse!" "Make some way there!" "Let me nearer!" "I am stifling!"
"Stifle then! When a nation's life's at hazard, We've no time to think of men!" So
they surged against the State House, While all solemnly inside, Sat the
Continental Congress, Truth and reason for their guide, O'er a simple scroll
debating, Which, though simple it might be, Yet should shake the cliffs of England
With the thunders of the free. Far aloft in that high steeple Sat the bellman, old and
gray, He was weary of the tyrant And his iron-sceptered sway; So he sat, with one
hand ready On the clapper of the bell, When his eye could catch the signal, The
long-expected news to tell. See! See! The dense crowd quivers Through all its
lengthy line, As the boy beside the portal Hastens forth to give the sign! With his
little hands uplifted, Breezes dallying with his hair, Hark! with deep, clear intonation,
Breaks his young voice on the air. Hushed the people's swelling murmur, Whilst the
boy crys joyously; "Ring!" he shouts, "Ring! Grandpapa, Ring! oh, ring for Liberty!"
Quickly, at the given signal The old bellman lifts his hand, Forth he sends the
goods news, making Iron music through the land. How they shouted! What rejoicing!
How the old bell shook the air, Till the clang of freedom ruffled, The calmly gliding
Delaware! How the bonfires and the torches Lighted up the night's repose, And
from the flames, like fabled Phoenix, Our glorious liberty arose! That old State
House bell is silent, Hushed is now its clamorous tongue; But the spirit it awakened
Still is living -- ever young; And when we greet the smiling sunlight On the fourth
of each July, We will ne'er forget the bellman Who, betwixt the earth and sky, Rung
out, loudly, "Independence"; Which, please God, shall never die!
The Day the Bells Rang July 4th 1776 During the day,
the streets of Philadelphia were crowded with people anxious to learn the
decision. In the steeple of the old State House was a bell on which, by a
happy coincidence, was inscribed, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto
all the inhabitants thereof." In the morning, when Congress assembled, the
bell-ringer went to his post, having placed his boy below to announce when the
Declaration was adopted, that his bell might be the first to peal forth the glad tidings.
Long he waited, while the deliberation swent on. Impatiently the old man shook his
head and repeated, "They will never do it! They will never do it!" Suddenly he
heard his boy clapping his hands and shouting, "Ring! Ring!" Grasping the
iron tongue, he swung it to and fro, proclaiming the glad
news of liberty to all the land. The crowded streets caught up the sound. Every
steeple re-echoed it. All that night, by shouts, and illuminations, and booming
of cannon, the people declared their joy.
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin February 1975
I used to be a rolling stone You know if the cause was right I'd leave
to find the answer on the road I used to be a heart beating for someone
But the times have changed The less I say the more my work gets done
`Cause I live and breathe this Philadelphia freedom From the day that
I was born I've waved the flag Philadelphia freedom took me knee-high
to a man Yeah gave me peace of mind my daddy never had Oh
Philadelphia freedom shine on me, I love you Shine a light through the eyes
of the ones left behind Shine a light shine a light Shine a light won't you
shine a light Philadelphia freedom I love you, yes I do If you choose to
you can live your life alone Some people choose the city Some others
choose the good old family home I like living easy without family ties Till the
whippoorwill of freedom zapped me Right between the eyes