In America, there are many symbols that people equate with the concept of freedom. One of the most famous is the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Cast in London, England, in 1752, the Liberty Bell was made for the Pennsylvania State House. It was ordered by the Pennsylvania Assembly to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges.

This charter gave Pennsylvania citizens precious freedoms such as the right to take part in making laws and choose their own religion.

Unfortunately, a small crack appeared in the bell shortly after it arrived in America. The bell was melted down and recast twice in 1753 by two local craftsmen, John Pass and John Stow.

Although more copper was added during each recasting, the bell eventually developed a thin crack again. By 1846, the thin crack had begun to affect the sound of the bell.

Although the bell was repaired again in 1846 just in time for it to ring for a George Washington birthday celebration, the crack remains, and the bell has not been rung since. No one knows why the crack originally appeared.

The Liberty Bell weighs more than a ton (approximately 2,080 pounds). It is made of 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin and small amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, silver and gold.

The Liberty Bell is a powerful symbol of the idea of freedom. It was rung at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.

It also features an inscription that conveys a message of liberty: “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” This is a passage from Leviticus in the Bible.

Today, the Liberty Bell hangs at the Liberty Bell Pavilion on Market Street in Philadelphia. Thousands of people visit every year to see this unique American icon of freedom.

It still hangs on what experts believe is its original yoke made from American elm.

 

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