Scouts demand return of Memphis Liberty Bell - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Scouts demand return of Memphis Liberty Bell

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Back in 1976, a group of Boy Scouts and other Memphis children raided their piggy banks to purchase the Memphis Liberty Bell.

The bell was made from the same mold as the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

"The White Chapel Foundry - located in London, England - agreed to cast 100 exact replicas from the same casting, same mold the original bell was cast from," said Boy Scout Volunteer Doyle Silliman.

For 33 years, the Memphis Liberty Bell was displayed at the Mid-South Fairgrounds - until the fair moved to Tunica, Mississippi.

The Memphis Liberty Bell used to hang under a gazebo inside the old Liberty Land. 

The bell contains a time capsule with a list of all the scouts and other Memphis children who bought the bell. Also inside the capsule are coins and medallions commemorating America's Bicentennial.

Silliman is now worried it will be opened too soon.

"There's a possibility this capsule may be opened prematurely at the fair in Mississippi, which is totally wrong," he said.

He wants the bell and time capsule returned to Memphis, and he's enlisted the help of Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

"I've been told by city officials that Mid-South Fair has already moved it off the property and out of Memphis. The time capsule, I don't know where it is," said Mulroy.

The commissioner says he plans to take up Silliman's cause.    

The bell is valued at $30,000, but Silliman says it's priceless.

The Mid-South Fair offices were closed Saturday. No one there could be reached for comment. 


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