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Of all the nation’s symbols, none may be as enduring as the Liberty Bell. A Philadelphia institution for two-and-a-half centuries, the bell’s story is as much fiction and folklore as it is a fact. Initially cast in 1752 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, a British foundry still in operation today, the bell arrived in Philadelphia in August 1752, cracked on its first use. A pair of founders, John Pass and John Stow, offered to recast the bell. Even though neither was an expert in bell casting, the two broke up the bell, melted it down and recast it after adding copper to the mix to strengthen the metal. What emerged was the Liberty Bell.

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