The Liberty Bell was originally ordered in 1751 to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s constitution, to be placed in the Pennsylvania State House, now called Independence Hall. The biblical inscription, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” from Leviticus 25:10 famously wraps around the bell. The bell rang on July 8, 1776 before the Declaration of Independence was publically read for the first time. The bell became a symbol of Liberty during the abolitionist movement to end slavery in the 1830’s. Many have debated the cause of the bell’s famous fracture, but a second crack silenced the bell forever after ringing on George Washington’s birthday in 1846.
”Not far from here where we gather today is a symbol of freedom familiar to all Americans — the Liberty Bell. When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public, the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, and a witness said: ‘It rang as if it meant something.’”—George W. Bush, December 12, 2005
“Yes there’s a lady that stands in a harbor for what we believe. And there’s a bell that still echoes the price that it cost to be free.”—Aaron Tippen, “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagles Fly”
The bell, which was made and sent from London, actually cracked the first time it was rung as a test upon its arrival in Pennsylvania. It was recasted twice to fix the problem.
The Liberty bell weighs 2080 lbs and is 3 feet high with a 12 foot circumference. Additionally, the bell is made of 70% copper, 25% tin, and 5% various metals.
The Liberty Bell was moved to the Liberty Bell Center in October 2003, where it is kept today.