After public outcry, Memphis Liberty Bell will return home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

After public outcry, Memphis Liberty Bell will return home

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - After public outcry, a piece of Memphis history that ended up in Mississippi is finally on its way home.

Back in 1976, a group of Boy Scouts and other Memphis children raided their piggy banks to purchase the Memphis Liberty Bell - a 3,200 pound replica made from the same mold as the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

It was displayed at the Mid-South Fairgrounds for 33 years, until the fair moved to Tunica, Mississippi.

The bell contains a time capsule with artifacts commemorating America's Bicentennial, as well as a list of all the scouts and other children who helped purchase the bell.

Boy Scouts volunteer Doyle Silliman enlisted the help of Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy to get the bell and time capsule returned to Memphis.

Back in 1976, each Shareholder was given a certificate that proved " undivided share of ownership in the Liberty Bell," Silliman said.

The certificates were the proof they needed to get the bell returned to its rightful home.

"From what I understand, the Mid-South Fair is going to give it back to the City of Memphis where it belongs," said Mulroy, who added that he's pleased the matter was resolved without anyone having to go to court.

The parks department will now find a new, permanent home for the bell.

"They have several places in mind as well," said Silliman. "Hopefully, we'll have a say so - those who are interested and the shareholders, as well."

The bell is valued at $30,000, but Silliman says it's a priceless piece of Memphis history that holds a special place in the hearts of those who brought it here.

"Learning the symbolism of this bell - learning the symbolism of the icons of liberty and our nation - this really changed them," said Silliman. "Therefore, it changed me."

Shareholders and others interested in the Memphis Liberty Bell can call (901) 324-2222.


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