The gamble

Reading Time: 21 minutes The Mount Vernon Memorial Park Liberty Bell It’s hard to be in the cemetery business without getting your hands dirty every now and then. My name is Foy Eldeen Bryant. It’s March 4, 1975. I’m 62 years old, and I’m sitting in front of a slot machine in the lobby of Caesar’s Palace casino in…

Tales from the lawn crypt — the Coon Rapids Liberty Bell

Reading Time: 10 minutes An advertisement designed to look like an editorial runs in the Minneapolis Star throughout 1970. The headline reads: How Morningside Memorial Gardens helped us answer our children’s questions. Pictured is a well-dressed nuclear family: mom, dad, the boy, the girl, and grandma — who looks healthy but will probably die soon. The ad is perfectly…

The Garden of Eternal Liberty

Reading Time: 8 minutes At a recent professional hobnobbing event in Miami, a colleague introduced me to another colleague as the person who hunts down and writes about Liberty Bell replicas. As I’ve learned to do in such situations, I prefaced the conversation that followed by inviting my new acquaintance to tap out at any time. No harm, no…

The Liberty Bell Memorial Museum

Reading Time: 6 minutes If we share our space with all the souls who’ve lived here before us, then Melbourne, Florida is teeming with ghosts — and they’re not all at peace. Dig just under the surface, and you’ll find evidence of the first humans to make their homes here in the late Pleistocene epoch, some 11,000 years ago….

The Disney Liberty Bell replica

Reading Time: 9 minutes In 2018, the Team Strange Motorcycle Club staged the Melting Pot Grand Tour, a nationwide scavenger hunt pitting bikers against each other in a friendly competition to visit as many Liberty Bell replicas as possible. The members of Team Strange are not the only Liberty Bell hunters out there. The Brock family recently completed their decades-long…

So much cheese

Reading Time: 7 minutes How a fondue restaurant in Delaware ended up with its very own Liberty Bell. This month at the Melting Pot in Wilmington, Delaware, you can celebrate Choctober-Fest with a four-course meal for $44.95 per person. You’ll start by dipping hunks of bread into bubbling cauldrons of cheese. Next comes salad, which you don’t dip into anything. For…

The Dallas Baptist University Liberty Bell

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 12 minutes 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

Reading Time: 12 minutes 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…

That time Hitler stole the Liberty Bell

Reading Time: 9 minutes 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

Reading Time: 15 minutes “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 four different full-size Liberty Bell replicas to over a million children at more than 900 schools in 36 states. It’s…

Phil Tovrea’s Liberty Bell replica: Phoenix Arizona

Reading Time: 6 minutes In my quest to see all 57 Liberty Bell replicas cast in 1950 as part of a U.S. Treasury Department savings bond drive, I’ve learned there are many more full-size, functional Liberty Bell replicas in this world — in locations far and wide— from fondue restaurant in Delaware, to a park in Tokyo, to a…

Fort Collins Mini Liberty Bell

Reading Time: 2 minutes   Thanks to an inside connection at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, I was able to visit this adorable little mini Liberty Bell replica. It lives in storage just a block from our office. I passed by countless times, never knowing this little guy was in there all by his lonesome (along with lots…

Independence Hall: Home of the Founding Fathers — Rapid City, SD

Reading Time: 2 minutes En route to our Lake Superior summer vacation, we decided to take the scenic route from from Colorado to Minnesota. On our way from Wall, SD to Mount Rushmore, we were surprised and delighter to find Independence Hall along the highway — conveniently located between Reptile Gardens and Bear County (just like it is in Philadelphia)….