The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell today is located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was cast with the lettering "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus (25:10). The bell first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.No immediate announcement was made of the Second Continental Congress's vote for independence, and thus the bell could not have rung on July 4, 1776, at least not for any reason related to that vote. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. After American independence was secured, it fell into relative obscurity for some years. In the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist societies, who dubbed it the "Liberty Bell." Similarly suffragists adopted the bell as a symbol, calling it the "justice bell."
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