July 8 - The Bell May have Cracked!

Many, many interesting things have happened on July 8 in American history through the years.  Here are a few examples;

In 1693 New York City issued the first police uniforms in the United States.
In 1777 Vermont became the first state to abolish slavery.
In 1816 there was a frost in Waltham, Massachusetts, and in 1835 the Liberty Bell cracked for the second time!

There seems to be some confusion about when the bell cracked for the first time.  The year was 1824, but there seems to be some sort of mystery about when in that year it cracked.

Some historians say it cracked during a visit by Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette came to visit Philadelphia, but other historians say it cracked later the same year while tolling a signal that there was a fire.

Another story tells that during the tolling of the bell for the funeral of Chief Justice John Marshall on July 8, 1835, the bell cracked for a second time.  However, later accounts in Philadelphia newspapers made no mention of that cracking.

Any or all of those stories many be true, but it was definitely damaged by 1846 when, according to Philadelphia city records, the mayor requested that the bell be rung on George Washington's birthday.  It was repaired, and it tolled loud and clear at first, only to crack beyond repair later that day and was taken out of service

After being moved to a pavilion near Independence Hall in 1976, the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, in 2003 it was again relocated to Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historic Park, where millions of visitors view its famous crack each year.

So -  when did the Liberty Bell crack?  Well, 178 years ago today may have been one of those occasions!  Who knows?


Annie said…
Now that is a very nifty historical nugget. Thanks, Sue.

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