The Two Liberty Bells
The Liberty Bell of the West also known as the Kaskaskia Bell is located on the Kaskaskia Island which is originated in 1703. The Kaskaskia Bell is older than the Liberty Bell located in Philadelphia. The Kaskaskia Bell was a gift from France to the Catholic Church of Kaskaskia in 1741. The Kaskaskia Bell is 11 years older than the Philadelphia Liberty Bell. Kaskaskia was the first capital of Illinois until the earthquake of 1805 when the Mississippi River changed course. For many years the Kaskaskia Bell was rung on the Fourth of July however in 1948 and crack was discovered and due to the floods of 1973 and again in 1993 the crack was widened to the degree that the bell is now silent. In 1778 George Rogers Clark rang the bell went Kaskaskia was captured for Americans. To prevent further damage to the bell it is been placed behind a fenced area, however can be seen daily between the hours of 8 to 5.
The Liberty Bell Center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily and is located between fifth and Sixth Street on market Street in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The sooner you can watch a video presentation and view the exhibits surrounding the Liberty Bell which includes the view internationally of freedom. Dozens of languages are available on tape presenting the history of the Liberty Bell to assist foreign visitors and understanding of history. A grand glass chamber with the Independence Hall in the background displays the Liberty Bell.
Originally cast in 1752 in London England the bell was commissioned for the Pennsylvania State House which is now our Independence Hall. The first crack the Bell received during the test ringing this original bell had to be melted down with more copper added making it less brittle and the bell was recast in 1753 by John Pass in John Stow. It is believed that the restored bell was rung on July 8, 1776 for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout American history the bell has been rung for many important events which include Presidential elections and deaths.
On July 8, 1835 the bell was being rung for the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall at his funeral and it cracked again. The crack measures 24.5 inches long and1/2 inch wide.The bell is inscribed along the top with "PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV X," which comes from the 25th chapter, 10th verse of Leviticus in the Old Testament. Proving that the bell stands for the liberty of this nation. The original name for the Liberty Bell was the State House Bell or Province Bell was renamed the Liberty Bell about 1839. It got this name from anti-slavery abolitionist publications. Words alone cannot describe the true meaning of the Liberty Bell and what it represents to the American people. During the 1800s the bell was used to help heal the divisions brought about the Civil War and were taken all across the country to fairs and expositions. He was retired in 1915 when it made its way home to Philadelphia for the last time, for over 200 years people around the world have experienced the message the bell provides, liberty cannot be seen it is more an idea must be lived.
The bell consists of about 70% copper, 25% tin and small amounts of silver, gold, lead, arsenic, and zinc. It is believed the original yoke was made from American elm from which the bell hangs today. In 1846 the bell was rung on Washington's Birthday, and the crack in the Liberty Bell received further damage making it impossible for the bell to be used again. It rang for its final time during that celebration, and has not been rung since.