The Liberty Bell was first hung in the State House in Philadelphia and was to be used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to lets citizens know about public meetings and proclamations. It was cast in 1752 by the London firm of Lester and Pack now known as the Whitechapel Bell Foundation. It has part of a verse from Leviticus 25:10 cast on the side which reads “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. It is constructed of copper and tin and has a circumference of 12 ft (3.7 m) and weighs 2,080 lb (900 kg).
It is undisputed that the Liberty bell first cracked on its first ringing after being hung in the State House in Philadelphia in 1752. It was thought that the bell was too brittle and that is the reason that it cracked. It was recast twice by local artisans John Pass and John Stow. After this there is some controversy about when the large zigzag crack that now runs up its side appeared. It is unclear whether the liberty bell got its distinctive crack after being rung after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835 or whether it was when it was rung to mark the birthday of George Washington in 1846.
In any case the liberty bell became an important symbol for a number of different independence movements in American history. It is thought that the liberty bell was one of the bells that rung to celebrate the Declaration of Independence on July 18, 1776. After that people in Philadelphia associated with their fight for freedom. It was also used as a symbol of freedom during the civil rights movement and was rung to celebrate and commemorate important patriotic occasions and the births and deaths of famous American men.
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