Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Welcome to the Liberty Bell.
For over 250 years, this Bell has been linked to important events in American history. But increasingly it has become a symbol without national boundaries. The inscription on the Bell is in English, but its words touch lives all around the world.
When workmen cast the Liberty Bell, it was a product of its times. Made in London, England in 1751, it commemorated the religious and political freedoms enjoyed by residents of colonial Pennsylvania. The inscription on the Bell came from the Bible. It reads, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
Americans opposed to the enslavement of Africans remembered those words when they campaigned to end slavery early in the 19th century. They used drawings of the Bell on pamphlets and reprinted the Bell's inscriptions. Bringing it to public attention. The fact that the Bell originally hung in inside Independence Hall, the place where the American colonies declared independence and where the United States formed its first national government, reinforced and magnified its symbolic value.
Once identified, the symbolic power of the Bell
Reformers dedicated to a variety of causes used the Bell's growing fame to gain support. Liberty, they argued, just as the words on the Bell suggested, must be for all — for workers, for women, and for the disenfranchised and powerless whoever they may be. In the 20th century, as political democracy spread around the globe, the Bell, with its recognizable shape and inclusive message, became a partner in the international quest for freedom.
The Liberty Bell achieved its fame despite or perhaps because of obvious defects. The Bell first cracked soon after it arrived in Philadelphia. Two local craftsman recast it in 1752, but it cracked again — no one knows exactly when. Repaired one final time in 1846, the Bell returned to surface briefly, until the crack lengthened. Brought to the brink of destruction again and again, unable to ring after the 1840s, this Bell still survived.
The Liberty Bell survived to provide a very personal message for everyone who stands before it — male or female, young or old. The only requirement you need to hear it symbolic message is a desire to search for the meaning of liberty that lives within you. Cracked and silent, yet world famous, the Bell reminds us to focus on strengths not weaknesses. Threatened many times, the Liberty Bell outlasted adversity, offering hope for a better tomorrow, when liberty truly may touch us all.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • Colonial Era • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells 🔔 series list.
Location. 39° 56.977′ N, 75° 9.015′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker can be reached from Chestnut Street (County Road 3008) just east of South 6th Street (County Road 2005), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 526 Market Street, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Preserving America's Treasures (a few steps from this marker); James Forten, 1776 - 1842 / Ki-onTwog-Ky or Cornplanter, 1732/40 - 1836 (within shouting distance of this marker); Evolution of Old Glory (within shouting distance of this marker); Gay Rights Demonstrations (within shouting distance of this marker); Notable Visitors to the Liberty Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); Notable Liberty Medal Ceremonies (within shouting distance of this marker); In This Building (within shouting distance of this marker); John F. Kennedy (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 15, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 84 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on August 25, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 15, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.