Bicentennial Bell, Britain’s Gift to US, Goes Into Storage
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By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A nearly 13,000-pound bell given to the United States by Great Britain in honor of America’s Bicentennial was removed from its tower at 3rd and Chestnut Streets today to make way for a new museum.
The inscription on the bell — six times bigger than the Liberty Bell — 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 II during her visit to Philadelphia for our Bicentennial celebrations in 1976.
The removal of the bell, which was cast at the same British foundry that cast the Liberty Bell, will now clear the way for demolition of the building that housed it. The site has been earmarked for the Museum of the American Revolution, scheduled to open in mid-2016 (see related story).
Museum spokeswoman ZeeAnn Mason (below) says the funding for the museum is getting close to its goal.
“We are getting close,” Mason said today. “We only have 17 more million dollars to raise. We have about 94 million already committed. So we are getting very close.”
Independence National Historical Park is putting the Bicentennial Bell into storage until a decision on where to display it has been made.