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Saturday, July 8, 2017

The "Travails Of Our Nation's Liberty Bell: Part II" Story

Artist's drawing of the ringing of the Liberty Bell for the first time.
It was an ordinary day.  Reading how the Liberty Bell, as we know it, got it's crack.  No one ever recorded when or why the Liberty Bell first cracked, but it is suspected that a narrow split developed in the early 1840s after nearly 90 years of use.  In 1846 Philadelphia decided to repair the bell prior to George Washington's birthday holiday (February 23). Metal workers widened the thin crack to prevent the bell from splitting more and tried to restore its tone using what is known as "Stop drilling."  If you look today at the crack in the Liberty Bell you will see over 40 drill bit marks in the wide "crack."  Only problem was that the repair job didn't work since another fissure developed.  The second crack silenced the bell forever, thus no one living today has never heard the Liberty Bell ring.  
Illustration showing the inscription on the bell.
The Liberty Bell's inscription is from Leviticus 25:10: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All The Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof."  This Old Testament verse refers to the "Jubilee", or the instructions to the Israelites to return property and free slaves every 50 years.  It is said that the inscription was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges which granted religious liberties and political self-government to the people of Pennsylvania.  After the Revolutionary War, abolitionists used the bell's inscription to seek to end slavery in America.  It was in the late 1800s that the Liberty Bell traveled across the country for display at expositions and fairs, stopping in towns small and large along the way.  
Route of the Liberty Bell on final trip in 1915.
For a nation trying to recover from the Civil War, the bell served to remind Americans of a time when they fought together for indepen- dence.  Movements from Civil Rights to Women's Suffrage embraced the Liberty Bell for both protest and celebration.  The bell made its final trip from Philadelphia in 1915 when it wound its way to San Francisco, California to help celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and to show off San Francisco's rebuilding efforts since the 1906 earthquake.  Philadelphia officials weren't going to allow the Liberty Bell to travel across country, but were swayed when they received a petition signed by over half-a-million California children asking for the bell.  
The Liberty Bell leaves Independence Hall on its way to
the train station for its final trip across the nation in 1915.
The bell began its trip from Philadelphia with a grand parade on July 5, 1915.  Throughout the trip the bell traveled by train over 10,000 miles and made stops in thirteen states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon before reaching California.  In December it began its return making visits in 14 states which included Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, New York and New Jersey.  The bell now sits in its own special glass case in its own special building run by the National Park Service.  18,000 people view the Liberty Bell daily now in order to see the famous crack.  The Liberty Bell was featured on the first "Forever" stamp which was revealed on March 26, 2007 and went on sale April 12, 2007 for 41 cents.  The so-called "Liberty Bell" stamp is marked "USA First-Class Forever".  Pennsylvania's "Liberty Bell" has a rich and glorious history.  Check it out if you are ever in the area on Market Street in Philadelphia.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Traveling through Dubuque, Iowa
The Liberty Bell on display in Moline, Indiana.
People view the Liberty Bell in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The Liberty Bell traveling through Salt Lake City, Utah.
Old photo of the Liberty Bell traveling through St. Louis, Missouri.
Traveling through Denver, Colorado. 
Finally reaching San Francisco, California.
Now on display in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


  1. Still enjoying all your postings. :-)

    I'm in the process of moving to my new (old) farmhouse and getting my home ready for sale, so I only have time to read here and there. Once settled I will start at the beginning... I want to read them all, like a novel.

    Just a small correction to one of the photos. Dubuque is in Iowa, not Illinois. It is only 30 miles from my new place. There is an East Dubuque, IL, however.

    If you ever have the time Google Galena, IL. It's an old lead mining town with lots of history in the hills of NW IL. I'm moving to Elizabeth, IL which is a small town about 15 miles away. You've inspired me to learn more about my new area once I've settled in.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Dear Linda, I apologize for any mistakes In grammar or spelling. At times my fingers fly faster than my thoughts. I'm anxious to have you read from the beginning which is about 8 years ago. Some stories may overlap and my first couple years I was just learning how to tell the story. Maybe not as interesting or as lengthy as they can get now. LDub