CASTING THE BELL: In 1751, the bell was originally cast as the Pennsylvania State House bell in an England foundry. The first time the new bell was struck, it cracked. It had to be recast twice during the following year before it was rehung in the Philadelphia State House bell-tower. The words from the bible are inscribed on the side “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Leviticus 25:10
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: Among many other occasions, the bell was rung on July 18, 1776 to celebrate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The people immediately associated it with the Revolution and made it the symbol of their fight for freedom. Later to be renamed the Liberty Bell when it became a symbol of the abolitionist, seeking the end of slavery, it has since been struck during times of war, when women won the right to vote, the passage of civil rights and other momentous occasions marking societal freedoms.
THE BELL IS SAVED: In the fall of 1777, as the British armies advanced toward Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, the bell was removed and hidden in Allentown to prevent it being melted down by the British to make cannons. After the British defeat in 1781, the bell was returned to the Philadelphia bell-tower.
THE BELL’S LAST TOLL: Then in 1846, it rang for the last time. The Philadelphia Public Ledger reported on February 26, 1846: “The old Independence Bell rang its last clear note on Monday last in honor of the birthday of Washington and now hangs in the great city steeple irreparably cracked and dumb. It had been cracked before but was set in order of that day by having the edges of the fracture filed so as not to vibrate against each other … It gave out clear notes and loud, and appeared to be in excellent condition until noon, when it received a sort of compound fracture in a zig-zag direction through one of its sides which put it completely out of tune and left it a mere wreck of what it was.”
SYMBOL OF FREEDOM: If there was ever a symbol of America’s freedoms, including an author’s freedom of speech, it’s the Liberty Bell. Americans love the bell, despite its flaws and cracks. Today the Liberty Bell is on display in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Independence Hall, free to all who wish to witness it.
View of video of the Liberty Bell
AUTHOR NOTES: The Liberty Bell symbolizes perseverance despite its crack. If we wish to succeed as writers, we must persevere to meet deadlines, work on our manuscripts, rewrite, edit, and then persevere to promote our finished works. Even as flawed human beings, even if what we write disagrees with others, in America we have the freedom to express and publish our works for all to view.
EVERYONE ELSE: The Liberty Bell has been a symbol of freedom for over 150 years. Don’t waste your freedom. Don’t be satisfied to be one of the silent majority. Stand up and be counted. If you disagree, speak out when laws are passed, entertainment defies our moral values and decency is trampled through what society insists is political correctness and a sign of the times.