Sound of the Freedom- The Liberty Bell Figure 1 Liberty Bell Forever Stamp Figure 1 Liberty Bell Forever Stamp Meaning can be found even in the most mundane of objects. For instance, consider the USA First Class stamp. On its upper left corner, the number 2008 shows that this stamp was produced in year 2008. The right side of the stamp says “USA FIRST-CLASSS FOREVER”, meaning that this postage stamp is valid for First-Class postage in the United States no matter when it is used.
There is an extraordinary metal bell is in the middle of the stamp – the Liberty Bell, a venerable historic relic that I am going to analyze in the rest of this research paper. The bell was first known by the world as a metal musical instrument in ancient China. Tuned bells in that age were created and played to be performed only for imperial families and noblemen, as a symbol of power and status. Later on, bells became widely used in different religions. For example, bells played an important role in the Eastern world of Buddhism and Hinduism as temple bells.
In western world, bells were commonly used as church bells or town bells for gathering people together. In 1752, the Quaker William Penn, legislator and founder of the Pennsylvania colony in 1682, had decided and commissioned the bell to be cast in London, and brought to North America to hang in the State House of the colony of Pennsylvania. “They had ordered very precisely that these prophetic words from the Old Testament be cast on the bell: ‘Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof. ’ ” Obviously, the Liberty Bell represents the important value of liberty and freedom in Pennsylvania colony.
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Charlene Mires, the associate professor of history of Villanova University, thinks adults viewed the Liberty Bell as an object lesson – “a means for securing the nation’s future, children could experience it as enormous fun. But the lesson was not just the bell was more than an inanimate object. ” There are many famous and great bells around the world: for instance, the Mingun Bell in north of Mandalay, Burma, the Largest ringing bell in the world; Tsar Kolokol III Bell, located in Moscow; the Big Ben in London and so on. Even though the Liberty Bell wasn’t the largest, eaviest, or most beautiful bell among these famous bells around the world, perhaps no other bell in the world has ever played a greater historic role than this cracked liberty bell. 2. The Liberty Bell as a symbol of the Declaration of Independence. The Liberty Bell is one of the most significant symbols throughout American history. Even through it is now one of the world’s great icons of freedom, the Liberty Bell wasn’t always so symbolic. At the beginning, the bell was only used to call the Pennsylvania assembly to meetings, just like a normal town bell.
Many people think the story of the liberty bell started with it ringing to announce the Declaration of Independence on Fourth of July; however, the truth is, the bell did not ring until the eighth of July, the day when they called Philadelphians together for the first public reading of Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon. The Declaration of Independence was an announcement that the thirteen American Colonies were at war with Great Britain as independent states and no longer a part of British Empire.
The Declaration states, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. ” I have found that there is much knowledge to be learned from the Declaration of Independence.
It taught me think that all men are created equal, and all men have the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that was given by God. The Declaration of Independence shows that American people have suffered too much from the British Empire, and the American people do not want slavery, but liberty. It is for that reason that they rang the Liberty Bell on July 4th 1776. Many people may have noticed that the huge crack on the Liberty Bell. Because of it, this two-thousand-pound mass of unstable metal nearly ended up being garbage.
There are various storys about how the bell was cracked. For instance, an eighty-six-year-old man told the New-York Times in 1911 that he cracked the bell in 1835 – he would have been 10 years old at that time! Among the numerous versions of the tales of the cracking bell, the most reputable and famous account is that the bell cracked when Philadelphia’s city government rung the bell on Washington’s Birthday in 1843. Luckily, instead of being forgotten and abandoned by the world because the loss of its voice, the liberty bell gradually became a priceless and great national treasure. . Liberty Bell travels around the United States between 1885-1915. After the Liberty Bell was no longer used as working bell, especially in the years after the Civil War, it started its patriotic trips that involved itself in many obscure events in American history. It traveled by rail car around the United States, and was also placed on exhibit at numerous World’s Fairs. From 1885 to 1915, the Liberty Bell traveled by rail on seven separate trips to eight different World’s Fair exhibitions, visiting nearly 400 cities and towns on those trips from coast to coast.
Here are some of the major cities and events that the Liberty Bell has traveled to.
Major Events and Places
To New Orleans for the World’s Industrial and Exposition. To Chicago for the World/s Columbian Exposition. To Atlanta for the Cotton States and International Exposition. To Charleston for the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition To Boston for the Bunker Hill Monument anniversary. To St. Louis for the Louisiana Purchase International Exposition To San Francisco for the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Are you wondering how large the influence of the Liberty Bell is? This was how New York Times reported the New-Orleans Exposition before Liberty Bell went to New-Orleans on December 17, 1884: “This has been a day of nerveless reaction after the great strain of opening day, there were but very few visitors to the grounds, not a thousand. ” Everything was changed after the Liberty Bell came to the New-Orleans Exposition. January 26th, 1885, was a great day for the New-Orleans World’s Industrial and Cotton Exposition, and for New Orleans citizens.
Because “extensive preparations had been made for the reception of the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia,” the New York Times proudly announced their venerable guest on Jan 27, 1885. Large numbers of citizens of New Orleans and Philadelphia met the Liberty Bell train at that point, surging forward to touch and kiss the bell. Salutes were fired, whistles blown, and flags were displayed on the exhibit with patriotic music. After the Liberty Bell was installed, it attracted visitors’ attention for nearly five months, achieving an iconic status.
The Liberty Bell is placed on a truck in Philadelphia to be transported to the train. The Liberty Bell is placed on a truck in Philadelphia to be transported to the train. On the last of its seven trips, the Liberty Bell was moved to the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, 1915, when the world had just been set afire by World War I. Nevertheless, the horrible World War I did not affect the enthusiasm of Californian people wanting to see the Liberty Bell.
In fact, when the organizers of Panama-Pacific International Exposition asked Philadelphia city officials to send the Liberty Bell to the Exposition, the city officials denied the request because they were afraid the big crack on the Bell would get larger during its travels and eventually the Bell would fall apart. However, the Philadelphians changed their mind after two hundred thousand Californian schoolchildren signed petitions begging Philadelphia to send the bell. A journalist in San Diego said that “there is not a single person in any state of the union who does not feel a personal interest in the bell. After the Panama-Pacific International Exposition ended at December 4th 1915, the exposition officials returned the bell and wrote, “You will be pleased to know that while the Liberty Bell was here in San Francisco, eight million people came to see it! ” Even nowadays, several millions people visit the Independence Hall each year, pondering the meaning of the Liberty Bell. Figure 3 Route from home to San Francisco (right end is Philadelphia, San Francisco at the left end)
Even though some people think that other symbols such as the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, and the Uncle Sam draw more attention than Liberty Bell, the Liberty Bell still played a huge important role in the construction of American nationalism. During this travel to world’s fairs and exhibitions, “the Liberty Bell joined the array of American symbols that excited patriotic enthusiasm during this period in United States history, a time marked by regional reconciliation, high immigration, economic transition, and imperial expansion. “In its travels, the Liberty Bell did not lose its identity as a historic relic. Actually, the Liberty Bell became something more. ” Instead of Philadelphians and other visitors going to Independence Hall in Philadelphia to experience the Liberty Bell, other Americans can also see the Bell at the center of lively hometown festivities. The trips of the Liberty Bell gave wide public attention to each city and town where the liberty train stopped, so civilians were well prepared to welcome their historic guest.
People brought their children from miles away to see the Liberty Bell, to hear its patriotic tunes, to reach out and touch it, and to stage ceremonies in the hopes that their children would long remember its national glory. Because of these travels, Americans beyond Philadelphia had a chance to enhance the relic’s reputation. Postage stamps are not just small pieces of paper. Their pictures are not chosen randomly, they are chosen to present certain thoughts or feelings that a nation wants to project to people. I believe there are reasons USPS (United States Postal Service) made this Forever Liberty Bell stamp. The Liberty Bell is an icon that resonates for freedom and independence for all of America, and those are exactly the qualities we want people to associate with the Forever stamp,” said Michael Plunkett, Acting Vice President of Pricing and Classification for the U. S. Postal Service. The Liberty Bell is definitely a national treasure, something that American people would be truly proud of and remember forever by the people and history. Who said nothing lasts forever? The Forever Liberty Bell stamp and the Liberty Bell do.
- Charlene Mires (2002), Independence Hall in American Memory Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. P148,155, PP151-152, P181. Gary B. Nash (2010), The Liberty Bell, Yale University press. PP. 11, 12, 34-35 John O’Brien, (2007),
- Our Liberty Bell, Henry Jonas Magaziner, P. 25 Lyoyd de Vries , In Stamps, The Liberty Bell is Forever; (February 11, 2009).
- CBSNEWS John Ficher, The Liberty Bell’s Journey – Humble Beginnings. Philadelphia About. com Espie Estrella, Famous Bells of the World, About. com The Liberty Bell At New –Orleans. (1885, January 27). New York Times (1857-1922), P. 2
- Gary B. Nash P. 11 [ 3 ]. Charlene Mires (2002), Independence Hall in American Memory Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. P. 155 [ 4 ]. Espie Estrella, Famous Bells of the World, About. com [ 5 ].
- John Ficher, The Liberty Bell’s Journey – Humble Beginnings. Philadelphia About. com [ 6 ].
- Charlene Mires P. 148 [ 7 ]. Harcourt, Brace( 1922), The Declaration of Independence, Carl Lotus Becker press. P. 6 [ 8 ].
- Thomas Jefferson(1776), United States Declaration of Independence. [ 9 ].
- Gary B. Nash . PP 33-34 [ 10 ]. Charlene Mires PP. 151-152 [ 11 ]. Charlene Mires PP. 151-152 [ 12 ].
- New-Orleans Exposition: A Rainy and Quite Day—Philadelphia To Send The Liberty Bell. (1884, December 18). New York Times(1858-1922), P. 1 [ 13 ]. The Liberty Bell At New –Orleans. (1885, January 27).
- New York Times (1857-1922), P. 2 [ 14 ]. John O’Brien, (2007), Our Liberty Bell, Henry Jonas Magaziner, P. 25 [ 15 ]. Gary B. Nash P. 12 [ 16 ].
- John O’Brien P. 25 [ 17 ]. Charlene Mires (2002), Independence Hall in American Memory Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. P148. [ 18 ]. Charlene P. 181 [ 19 ]. Lyoyd de Vries, , In Stamps, The Liberty Bell is Forever; (February 11, 2009). CBSNEWS
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