In 1751, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered a bell to be placed at the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
The bell was to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of William Penn’s “Charter of Privileges”—addressing Penn’s ideas of rights and freedoms, and adopted as Pennsylvania’s original constitution. And on the bell is inscribed words from Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof . . .” The bell gained its iconic reputation as the “Liberty Bell” when abolitionists adopted it as their symbol in efforts to put an end to slavery in America.
Its most enduring story occurred on July 8, 1776, when the “Liberty Bell” rang to gather the citizens of Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence!