The Liberty Bell is one of the most important symbols of United States freedom and was created in 1751 to mark the 50th anniversary of William Penn's famous decision that colonists in the new world had the right to govern themselves. This was a major step on the part of colonists on the road to revolution, and the Liberty Bell can still be seen today in Pennsylvania. The Liberty Bell is found adjacent to Independence Hall, another of the best historical attraction in Philadelphia.
The history of the Liberty Bell is an interesting part of the history of the United States. After its first casting in 1751, the bell was delivered to the Pennsylvania State House and hung and displayed from scaffolding. The history of the Liberty Bell goes on to reflect that the first time the bell was rung; it cracked, resulting in the famous Liberty Bell crack. The Liberty Bell crack was remedied by recasting the Liberty Bell numerous times; however the Liberty Bell crack remains a favorite aspect of the bell's history.
The history of the Liberty Bell also includes times of turmoil within the United States, particularly during the American Revolutionary War. Rather than allowing British troops to seize the Liberty Bell in PA and possibly melt it down for ammunition, revolutionary soldiers moved the Philadelphia Liberty Bell north to Allentown and hidden beneath the floor boards of a church. The Philadelphia Liberty Bell stayed hidden under the church until 1778 when the last of the British troops were finally driven out. Although the bell was moved back to its original spot in Philadelphia in 1778, the basement of the church in Allentown where the bell stayed hidden for those years is now a memorial museum, known as the Liberty Bell Museum. Visitors can check out a replica of the original bell in the museum.
The inscription on the Liberty Bell in PA reads, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof", and comes from the book of Leviticus in the Christian bible. Today, visitors can see the Liberty Bell in PA for free. Simply stop by the Visitor Center and pick up a free ticket. You can also check out some supplemental historical information at the Visitor's Center before or after viewing the Liberty Bell in PA. Hours for the Visitor Center and pavilion are daily from 9am until 5pm. You can also see the bell from Chestnut and 6th Avenue in downtown Philadelphia, so this is a good way to at least catch a glimpse of it if you've missed the pavilion hours. Both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are located just a few blocks from many of the most popular Philadelphia hotels and make an excellent stop along walking tours of the historical district of Philadelphia. The Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are also located downtown in the same vicinity and can be great additions to suggested itineraries for Philadelphia.