#On This Day – Bells

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018


July 4th is now well known in America as Independence Day, for on this day in 1776 the delegates of the Continental Congress proclaimed the thirteen American colonies, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, independent from Britain. These states were now free states.

Four days later, on July 8, after the Declaration of Independence had returned from the printers, a 2,000 ton bell was rung from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House. This bell, now known as the Liberty Bell, summoned the town’s folk to the first public reading of the bill by Colonel John Nixon, and was inscribed with the legend, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land”. The bell was originally made to commemorate the anniversary of Pennsylvanian’s original constitution, William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges, which envisioned a colony based upon religious freedom. The Charter, also called the Charter of Liberties, strengthened the separation between church and state, and balanced power between the offices of the governor, legislature, and judiciary by the consent and participation of the people; it was seen by many as ideal example of equality, individual rights and self-government. The bell was also later adopted by abolitionists during their fight to end slavery when the Boston’s Friends of Liberty, an abolitionist group, titled their journal The Liberty Bell in 1839, highlighting that the inscription on the bell did not proclaim liberty for all of America’s people. Liberty Bell has since become an iconic symbol of American freedom and liberty, representative of a nation’s independence.

Listen to our unexpected history of the Bell!

More Magazine Articles

#On This Day – Clocks

12, 8, 2019 - #OnThisDay 12 August 1949 Big Ben was unable to chime at 9pm as a flock of starlings had .... Read More

Sign Language

18, 9, 2019 - Hand Gestures and the History of Sign Language The use of communication through hand gestures .... Read More

The Sweating Sickness

16, 9, 2019 - A History of Sweating! Sweat has been and is an everyday occurrence, whether through working .... Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with Histories of the Unexpected