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The Liberty Bell is a significant symbol of American independence. The bell is located in the Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The traditional symbol was cast in London and commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly.
See the fact file below for more information on the Liberty Bell or alternatively, you can download our 25-page The Liberty Bell worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE FIRST BELL
- The Liberty Bell was once the State House bell, and Independence Hall, the building where it’s located in, was once known as the Pennsylvania State House.
- The Pennsylvania State House was the most prestigious public building of Colonial America.
- The State House bell was the city bell of Philadelphia that had been used to notify the public about proclamations or alert them of danger.
- It was said that William Penn, Philadelphia’s founder, was the one who brought the original bell to the city.
- In 1751, a bell tower was built in the Pennsylvania State House as the city was quickly expanding.
- The Pennsylvania Assembly had the bell made to mark the 50-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s original Constitution penned by William Penn.
- They wanted a bell of better quality and could be heard at a greater distance.
- Isaac Norris, speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, first ordered a bell in 1751 from the Whitechapel Foundry in London.
- After the bell cracked on the first test ring, it was melted down and the metal was cast to form a new bell by founders John Pass and John Stow from Philadelphia.
- Founder is what they call workers who cast metal.
- A factory where they make metal work is called a foundry.
- The State House bell was rung for various reasons: to alert lawmakers to important meetings, mark the signing of the Constitution, gather the townspeople to hear news readings, and mark the deaths of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington.
- In 1777, the Bell was detached from the State House and taken to Allentown, Pennsylvania.
- It was hidden in a church in Allentown for a year because the Americans feared that the British would melt the bell and forge it into weapons.
- In the 1830s, the bell became more than just a functional instrument. It became an iconic symbol of American liberty during the anti-slavery movement. This is when it was renamed the Liberty Bell. The name Liberty Bell first appeared in an abolitionist pamphlet in 1839.
- A story was written in 1847 that the bell rang on July 4, 1776, the country’s first Independence Day, and July 8, 1776, the Declaration of Independence, but both stories have not been confirmed with contemporary records.
- It weighs about 2,080 pounds.
- The circumference around the bell’s lip is 12 feet.
- The bell is 3 feet high from its lip to crown.
INSCRIPTION ON THE BELL
- A Bible verse chosen by Isaac Norris was engraved on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” (Leviticus 25:10)
- The verse refers to the instructions made to the Israelites to free slaves every 50 years. The instructions were known as the “Jubilee.”
- The inscription was overlooked during the Revolutionary War, but abolitionists were inspired by that inscription and sought to end slavery in America at the start of the mid-18th century.
- The inscription also included “By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada.” and “Pass and Stow/MDCCLIII.” (the Bell’s makers.)
CRACKING OF THE BELL
- The bell was said to be cracked upon its arrival in Pennsylvania in 1752.
- The most common story known today about the cracking of the bell is when the bell was rung upon the death of the Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, in 1835.
- The Liberty Bell got cracked when it was rung on President’s Day in February 1846, which happens to be celebrated on Washington’s birthday, which is the crack we see today.
THE BELL’S IMPORTANT MOMENTS
- The Liberty Bell rang out when Benjamin Franklin traveled to England to address the objections of the Colonials.
- The bell also rang out when a gathering was called to discuss the Sugar Act of 1764 and the Stamp Act of 1765.
- Attempts were made to repair the crack that the bell got when it tolled during Washington’s birthday in 1846, but it was left with a crack that could not be repaired.
- In 1915, the Liberty Bell went on tour around the United States.The bell sustained its poor condition even in the days prior to the First World War.
- In 1976, the Liberty Bell was relocated from Independence Hall to a pavilion a hundred yards away.
- In 2003, it was moved to the Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historical Park, where it is visited by around two million people each year.
The Liberty Bell Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Liberty Bell across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use The Liberty Bell worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Liberty Bell which is a significant symbol of American independence. The bell is located in the Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The traditional symbol was cast in London and commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Liberty Bell Facts
- Founding of the Bell
- Bell or Bluff
- Parts of a Bell
- Inscription Scramble
- Important People
- Important Moments
- Notable Bells
- Symbolic Structures
- Tell the Narrative
- Free the Slaves!
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.