The Liberty Bell Tolls to Announce the Declaration of Independence

On July 8, 1776, a 2,000-pound copper and tin bell now known as the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Liberty Hall) in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Here’s the history of the most famous bell on earth. In 1751, to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s original constitution, the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly order the bell to be constructed. After being cracked during a test and then recast twice, the bell was hung from the State House steeple in June, 1753. Rung to call the Pennsylvania Assembly together and to summon people for special announcements and events, it was also rung on important occasions, such as King George III’s 1761 ascension to the British throne and, in 1765, to call the people together to discuss Parliament’s controversial Stamp Act. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in April of 1775, the bell was rung to announce the battles of Lexington and Concord. Its most famous tolling, however, was on July 8, 1776, when it announced the reading of the Declaration.

Freedom demands a grand announcement. The Bible says of Jesus, “The Spirit of God is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18-19). Twice in that passage we find the word “free.” And here’s the good news. Those who have been set free in Christ are free indeed.

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