PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — History tells us that all the church bells in Philadelphia rang on July 8th, 1776, for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
One church continues that tradition, though its bells now ring on July 4th.READ MORE: Montgomery, Bucks Counties Begin Administering Pfizer's COVID Vaccine To Children Ages 12-15
These are not just any church bells. Reverend Tim Safford says they’ve been hanging in the belfry of Christ Church in Old City since 1754.
“Christ Church bells were made in the same foundry as the liberty bell,” he said. “One of them is the same size as the Liberty Bell, the same sound as the Liberty.”
Except these never cracked.READ MORE: Sixers 'Thrilled' To Increase Wells Fargo Center Capacity To 50% Ahead Of First Round Of NBA Playoffs
Eight original bells and two added in memory of men who died in World War two still ring for services and special occasions, and even the bell-ringer has a history.
“It’s like my little sanctuary up there,” said Eugene Frohlich who became the bell-ringer in 1980. “I’ve been doing it almost 40 years now.”
For the Fourth, Frohlich plays patriotic songs, to the delight of Calvin Brannon.MORE NEWS: Students To Return To West Chester University For In-Person 2021 Fall Semester
“There is a point where history comes down to one church, one set of bells, one small group of people who make a decision and it’s still here,” he said. “I think it’s just extraordinary.”