Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s July 8, 1776. I’m in Philadelphia, at the State House Tower, with Benjamin Franklin. The Liberty Bell has been ringing for hours as a huge Declaration of Independence party is going on all over the city.
JG: “Ben, what’s the inscription I see on the Liberty Bell?”
BF: “John, it’s a quote from the Bible, from Leviticus 25:10. It says, ‘proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.’ We’re celebrating today because God has made us free.”
An inscription on the Liberty Bell historical marker in Montevallo, Alabama, reads, “The Liberty Bell was commissioned November 1, 1751 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s Charter of Privileges for his Pennsylvania colony…
“The Bell cracked when first tested. Two local foundry men recast The Bell and it began service in 1753 tolling special events. In the Revolutionary War, The Bell tolled to announce the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the first public reading of The Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776. It cracked again July 8, 1835 during the funeral procession of Chief Justice John Marshall. It was repaired but cracked again in 1846 when it rang for George Washington’s birthday. It has not been rung since. It was not called “The Liberty Bell” until 1839 when William Lloyd Garrison’s anti-slavery publication, “The Liberator” published a poem about The Bell. This use by advocates of the anti-slavery movement made The Bell a new symbol of freedom.
“The Liberty Bell’s association with The American Revolution, its use to toll important events in history, its symbolic use in the anti-slavery movement, and its Biblical inscription “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Leviticus 25:10 have made it among the most cherished and revered symbols of America freedom.”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.