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|More on the Liberty Bell
The Crack: The bell first cracked during a test ringing. After cracking, the bell was recast twice in 1753 in Philadelphia by John Pass and John Stow (the old bell was broken up and melted down, more copper was added to the metal alloy to make it less brittle, and the bell was re-cast).
The restored bell was probably rung at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia (on July 8, 1776). It rang to announce many important events in early American history, including Presidential elections and deaths.
The bell cracked again on July 8, 1835, while being rung at the funeral of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The crack's dimensions are 24.5 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.
Inscriptions on the Bell: Across the top of the bell is the inscription, "PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV X." This is a quote from the Old Testamentent of the Bible, Leviticus chapter 25, verse 10. Under this reads, "BY ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PROVINCE OF PENSYLVANIA [sic] FOR THE STATE HOUSE IN PHILADA." Lower on the bell are the inscriptions, "PASS AND STOW," the last names of the founders who cast the bell (John Pass and John Stow). Beneath this is "PHILADA," short for Philadelphia. The lowest inscription is the Roman numerals MDCCLIII (1753), the year the bell was re-cast.
The Name "Liberty Bell": The bell was originally called the State House Bell or the Province Bell. The bell was first called the Liberty Bell around 1839 by abolitionist (anti-slavery) publications.
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