A trip to Philadelphia wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Old Town, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center.
Note: We are reaching out Beyond LA and expanding our LA Travel Guide to include much more of the world. We feel that is is somehow fitting that our first post in our new section “Beyond LA” is about the Liberty Bell and that is is just prior to Independence Day. Please stop back in more often to see more of the wonderful places to visit in the United States.
The Liberty Bell is located on 6th and Market St. Once I arrive there, I had to ask some people where the bell actually was. Photos I have seen of the bell always showed it in an outdoor location and I assumed it was somewhere on the grounds of Independence Hall. Before getting in the line, I asked someone where it was and they pointed to the big long building in the shady park between Independence Hall and the Independence Visitors Center.
Inside the Liberty Bell Center where the bell is housed are a number of informational displays about the history of the bell, then finally you come to the bell. It was a lot smaller than I anticipated, but still beautiful to behold.
Admission to see the Liberty Bell is free. You do have to pass through a metal detector at security so leave any unnecessary items behind.
I also got my history on the bell corrected a bit as a result of the visit. I’m sure I’m not the only person that believed the bell became cracked because of how hard the bell was rang on that historic day in 1776 when it announced the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. The truth is the crack in the bell appeared gradually over time. The point when it cracked into its current condition was on George Washington’s birthday in 1846.
In 1977 the British occupied Philadelphia. The patriots were afraid the bells would be seized and melted down for cannon. Weeks before the occupation all of the bells in the city, including the Liberty Bell, were removed and hidden under the floorboards of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown.
There is a considerable contradiction where the Liberty Bell is concerned. While it is a symbol of our freedom from what the founders consider the oppression of the British, the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners. It was during the time of the abolitionist movement prior to the Civil War that the bell gained the name the Liberty Bell and it then became a symbol of Freedom.
Freedom seems to be a fragile thing and today we find what remains of our freedom is threatened once again. The effort of man to enslave others seems to also run throughout history and we find our modern slave masters have taken the form of mega corporations and big-brother oriented tech companies that are constantly evolving ways to control and constrict our every activity. Freedom is clearly something that has to be continually protected and fought for. We can afford to turn our backs on those things which threaten it and just say “what can one person do about it.” Speak up, take action.
This section of Philadelphia is so rich in cultural history, museums and other things to see that we followed up with a post on Old Town Philadelphia to show you some of the things to enjoy near the Liberty Bell..
We hope you all have a happy Fourth of July and if you are in Los Angeles and looking for the best places to see Independence Day Fireworks in LA, be sure to see our post on where they all are!
See more photos after the break…