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August 2006

  Reunion 2007 Dates Set!

We've worked out the dates and some of the other details of our reunion next year in Philadelphia. The dates are June 21-24, 2007 and You do not need to make reservations, that will be part of the Reunion Registration Packet that will be sent out next year as the event approaches. 

A wealth of cultural riches can be found in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, including restored historical homes, botanical gardens, the United States’ first zoo and three centuries worth of architectural masterpieces. The city is filled with museums, cultural centers and performing arts venues, as well as numerous locations celebrating Philadelphia’s rich heritage and modern style.  We may also be able to visit Valley Forge!

We should also remember that is was to Philadelphia that USS England DE-635  returned from the Pacific theater after Okinawa. It was there that he was in the yards undergoing repair and conversion when World War II ended. Therefore it is fitting that we make out way to the place of great significance to the thread of history that is ENGLAND. we are hopeful that the officers and crew of the first USS England will come and join us in Philadelphia!

How can you help now? 

  • Let Dennis O'Brien know what you'd like at this event. What did you like about the past reunion and what did you not like? What do you want to do?
  • Start making your plans now to be there in June of 2007. Reach out to all of our shipmates and help them get there. Tell them of our event and make sure we find a way to get them to attend! 

Please keep an eye on the 2007 Reunion Page for more information as we update it!

See you all there!

History of the Liberty Bell

Since we're going to Philadelphia, the newsletter will start offering some information about this excellent destination in hopes that it'll entice you, your family and your friends into attending the reunion!

In 1751, the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania ordered a bell from Whitechapel Foundry in England, to weigh roughly 2000 pounds. Ironically, the inscription chosen for the bell a full quarter century before the revolution read: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof . . ."

Fate, it seemed, had cast the bell's destiny as a symbol of the Revolution as surely as the foundry had cast its form.

The legend of the bell cracking the first time it was rung is historically accurate, although it occurred in March of 1753, not on the Fourth of July. Colonists attempted to return the bell to England, but when the ship's master was unable to load it on board, they had to settle for adding copper to the bell's metal alloy. Unfortunately, this deadened its tone.

A second recasting corrected that problem and the bell, then known as the State House Bell, was hung in Philadelphia's State House until 1777. It was temporarily removed to Allentown, PA during the threat of British invasion of Philadelphia, and subsequently returned in the summer of 1778.

When and how did the bell ring its last? While romance and legend have attached it to the tolling to mark the passing of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835, the celebration of Washington's Birthday, the signing of the Constitution and other historical events, the actual date may never be known. What is certain is the crack line follows the line of the clapper and may have been the result of improper operation. 

Nonetheless, the Liberty Bell has, in a very real sense, tolled the beginning of American Independence and to this day stands as a universal symbol proclaiming freedom from tyranny.