From the Liberty Bell to Twitter: How the U.S.A. has Evolved

  

The Liberty Bell was first rung on July 8, 1776: That’s 236 years from this Sunday! The Liberty Bell rang for the first time in the tower of Independence Hall, summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon. Early Americans used bells to get news and messages around, whereas now we use outlets like Twitter or Facebook. It’s hard to believe how far we have come as a country. What else do you know about the Liberty Bell? Have you seen it in person? In going along with this month’s patriotic theme, the bloggers at HR Strategies have been doing some research. We are interested in the steps our Founding Fathers took that have led us from tolling bells to tweeting. This month, HR Strategies is researching important events and information that have shaped our nation’s history, and we’re bringing them to you. Here are some interesting facts about the Liberty Bell:

  • The Bell was sent from England on the ship Hibernia, captained by William Child.

    Note: It is in error, though commonly believed that it came on the Myrtilla. Dennis R. Reidenbach, Acting Superintendent Independence National Historical Park, wrote, “According to newspaper accounts of port activity, the Myrtilla docked in Philadelphia at the end of September 1752. However, Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the Assembly, Isaac Norris (the man who ordered and oversaw the installation of the bell in the State House), wrote on Sept. 1 that the bell had recently arrived. The only ship from England that docked in Philadelphia during the month of August that year was the Hibernia, captained by William Child. The Hibernia was of modest size, transporting dry goods and passengers regularly between England, the colonies and Ireland. No known records identify the Hibernia‘s owner either before or at the time it transported the bell.” (Philadelphia Inquirer 9/22/02)

  • The bell cracked the first time it was rung.
  • The bell weighed 2080 pounds when it was cast.
  • The strike note of the Bell is E-flat Listen to the Normandy Liberty Bell
  • On June 6, 1944, when Allied forces landed in France, the sound of the bell was broadcast to all parts of the country
  • There are three known recordings of the Bell. Two were made in the 1940s for radio stations to play; the third is currently owned by Columbia Records.
  • About 1,500,000 people annually make a pilgrimage to the Bell.
  • The Liberty Bell Center was designed by the same firm (Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson) that designed the Apple Store glass cube in Manhattan.
  • On the bell, “Pennsylvania” is spelled “Pensylvania”.
  • The Christmas-time favorite, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was produced by the short-lived Liberty Films company. They used a Liberty Bell, without a crack, as their symbol.
  • When the Liberty Bell first cracked, it was given to Pass & Stow to recast. A replacement bell was ordered from Whitechapel Foundry in England. The Pass & Stow bell is the Liberty Bell.
  • As an April Fools (1996) joke, Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in various newspapers, including The New York Times, claiming to have bought the Liberty Bell. This Liberty Bell trivia is from US Histroy.org.

Here’s an excerpt from US History.org: “The Liberty Bell was rung to call the Assembly together and to summon people together for special announcements and events. The Liberty Bell tolled frequently. Among the more historically important occasions, it tolled when Benjamin Franklin was sent to England to address Colonial grievances, it tolled when King George III ascended to the throne in 1761, and it tolled to call together the people of Philadelphia to discuss the Sugar Act in 1764 and the Stamp Act in 1765.”

From ringing a bell in the town square to tweeting, the way we spread news has certainly come a long way. As technology has advanced at an alarming rate, we continue to hold on to what made us the country we are today. The bell early Americans used to transport information has lasted as a patriotic symbol in the Unites States to this day. We tend to hold these icons close during the 4th of July celebrations, and we hope you have learned something today that you will take with you. Just as early Americans used bells to get news and messages around, HR Strategies hopes that you will follow us on Twitter as we “ring” the latest HR news and information! 

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About HR Strategies

HR Strategies is a private human resource management firm created to enable small business owners to focus on their core competencies, rather than the tedium of running payroll, providing employee benefits, or the many other facets of human resource administration. We allow business owners to concentrate on their passion, without being distracted by countless human resource responsibilities.

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