Independence Hall was built, beginning in 1732 and finished in 1756, as the Pennsylvania State House.
From 1775 to 1783, with the exception of the winter of 1777-1778 when Philadelphia was occupied by the British), it was the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress.
It is known as the birthplace of the United States for it was here that the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution of the United States was debated and signed.
The bell tower of Independence Hall housed the bell that rang to call the people to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776. The bell is engraved with the following words: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof." When ringing the bell in memory of George Washington's birthday in 1846, a crack expanded in the bell and made it unringable. Today, the "Liberty Bell" is on exhibit in Independence National Historic Park.