Blogs > Cliopatria > Inaugural Zombie Error

Jan 20, 2005 4:48 pm

Inaugural Zombie Error

There are myths which can't be killed: Zombie Errors. One of them made it into the President's second Inaugural address:
When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, It rang as if it meant something.
The problem with this, of course, is that the Liberty Bell wasn't involved and the story is just that, a 19th century storybook invention.

Otherwise, it was a pretty good speech, with the usual mix of good things I very much doubt he means (sounded like he was running for UN Sec-Gen in the early sections) and horrific ideas I'm quite sure he'll (try to) implement. But that's partisanship; let's try to get the history right, first.

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Richard Henry Morgan - 1/20/2005

The National Park Service site has the old story intact on its website today:

It reads like speculation based on the purported fact that it was often rung on the occasion of public announcements. Could have happened. Might not have. Speculation should be labelled as such.