The Liberty Bell, the iconic symbol of American Independence, never rang on July 4, despite the legend, nor did the excitement over this event cause the crack. Poor casting doomed the famous bell years before, first developing a crack in 1752 and becoming un-ring-able by 1846. Even though schoolchildren still tap the bell gently 13 times every 4th of July, it wasn’t until July 8, 1776 that it rang in honor of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.

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