Sunday, August 19, 1787
By Center for Public Policy, Citizenship and Ethics
Posted on 8/19/2020 - 4 minute read
The bell in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House cracked on its first test ring in 1752. Isaac Norris, Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, had ordered a bell for the bell tower from the Whitechapel Foundry in London in 1751. When it cracked, two local craftsmen, John Pass and John Stow, twice cast a new bell using metal from the original. For the bell’s inscription Norris chose a verse from the Old Testament Book of Leviticus: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” an instruction to the ancient Israelites to return property and free slaves every fifty years.
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