28 down, 29 to go

The Goal: Visit all of the 1950 Liberty Bell replicas. According to the Liberty Bell Museum: In 1950, the United States Department of the Treasury assisted by several private companies selected Paccard Foundry in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, to cast 57 full-sized replicas of the Liberty Bell. The bells were shipped as gifts to states and territories…

The Dallas Baptist University Liberty Bell

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. So it should come as no surprise that while every state has a Liberty Bell, the Lone Star State has nine. A bank in the aptly named town of Liberty has one. Three can be found in plazas and parks throughout the state. Another five Liberty Bells currently reside…

Portland’s exploding Liberty Bell

Portland, Oregon: It’s the Saturday before the first Thanksgiving of the 1970s, and shit has been blowing up with alarming regularity. Last month, a dynamite bomb at the University of Oregon in Eugene — the first of two bombings on campus this year — caused $50k in damages and, miraculously, no injuries. Ten days ago, state officials…

Good Vibrations — the American Buddhist Liberty Bells

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1987: The parade approaches Independence Hall, the birthplace of American liberty, the building on the back of the hundred dollar bill. Two-hundred spunky young roller skating gymnasts in short shorts, knee pads and striped knee-high athletic socks slow their roll. With expert precision and youthful abandon, they climb on top of each…

It tolls for thee — the Hawaiian Liberty Bell

“Mom, honk the horn!” a 10-year old boy calls out excitedly from the back of the station wagon. His mother ignores him. “Honk the horn, mom!!” the boy repeats, now more animated. His mother continues to ignore him. “Honk the horn, mom!!!,” all three kids, who rarely agree on anything, now chant in unison. It’s the…

Gone to Carolina

 On baby turtles, floaty pens and the nature of monuments Oversold We’ve all been there. Your flight is about to board. The gate attendant seems just now to notice it’s oversold. They get on the loudspeaker, and the auction begins. Someone is not getting on this plane—who’s it gonna be? The bidding starts at $200….

That time Hitler stole the Liberty Bell

Cablegram: May 6, 1940,  To: Herr Hitler, Berlin “Only accurate replica of the Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, was donated to Czechoslovakia by Americans when that country became a republic. We understand all bronze articles are being melted down and since we have use for this valuable bell we offer $3,000 if delivered at New York…

Reverend Joseph B. Head, the Liberty Bell Minister

“You have never met a character like me.” Part showmanship, part satisfaction guarantee; this is how the Reverend Joseph B. Head, the Liberty Bell minister, introduces himself. Between 1975 and 1985, Head’s roadshow would bring 4 different full-size Liberty Bell replicas to over a million children at more than 900 schools in 36 states. It’s…

The Annecy Liberty Bell replica

This is the unlikely story of how one small French town came to have its very own Liberty Bell On a picturesque hillside, high in the French Alps, Edouard de Reydet carefully follows a centuries-old formula. With the precision of a scientist and the artistry of a chef, he combines local earth, ground to a fine powder…

National Treasury: the case of DC’s missing Liberty Bell

How exactly does a one-ton Liberty Bell replica disappear? Since I launched this site, folks have reached out to me with stories about various Liberty Bell replicas. I’ve heard from other bell hunters, private bell owners and folks trying to solve their own Liberty Bell mysteries. Last year someone sent me a link to a Washington…

The Texas Liberty Bell Replica: College Station

Lyle Lovett’s That’s right (you’re not from Texas) plays as we cross the Brazos River in our rented Nissan. Dawn drifts in and out of sleep while I drive. We’re now squarely in Texas A&M University territory. Aggie country. We’re here to visit a unique, little-known piece of state history — the Texas Liberty Bell…