PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Liberty Bell’s latter-day twin, bestowed as a bicentennial gift from Britain, was removed from its hulking tower at a defunct visitors center on Thursday and placed in storage.
The Bicentennial Bell was cast in the same British foundry as the original, a symbol of the U.S. as familiar as the Stars and Stripes. A full-size replica of its Revolutionary cousin, the bell had been presented in Philadelphia by Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate America’s 200th birthday in 1976.
The National Park Service on Thursday removed the six-ton bell from its 130-foot-tall brick tower, an imposing square column that may have seemed like a good design in the 1970s but effectively hid the bell from view. The tower and its equally inhospitable-looking neighbor, a box-like brick building that formerly was a visitor center, were constructed for the bicentennial and are being demolished to make way for a new Revolutionary War museum.
The Bicentennial Bell was cast in 1976 at London’s Whitechapel Foundry, where the Liberty Bell was made in 1751. An inscription reads: “For the People of the United States of America from the People of Britain / 4 July 1976 / LET FREEDOM RING.”
It was presented by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who disembarked from the royal yacht Britannia on July 6 to abundant fanfare. Their arrival marked the first time a British monarch had visited Philadelphia, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence that severed the Colonies’ ties from the crown.
The queen, a direct descendant of the patriots’ nemesis King George III, indicated there were no hard feelings. She told a crowd of 20,000 at the Bicentennial Bell’s dedication ceremony that, 200 years earlier, the founding fathers taught her country “to respect the right of others to govern themselves in their own way.”
The bell will remain mothballed until a new home is found. A spokeswoman for the National Park Service said it will eventually be displayed somewhere in Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood.
“It’s a wonderful object that represents the park’s Bicentennial experience,” said Karie Diethorn, the park curator. “Within the next two years, we’ll have a design and it will be installed on park property.”
The Bicentennial Bell is missing its predecessor’s famous crack but it also doesn’t work. It did ring twice a day for about 25 years, until an automated mechanism that worked the clapper broke. The Park Service said it has lacked funding to repair it.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths