The Freedom Bell, 1,800-pound twin of the more famous Liberty Bell, was cast in 1752 by the same foundry that manufactured the Liberty Bell hangs in the tower of St. Paul’s Church.

The City of Mount Vernon will host the annual July 4th Independence Day celebration at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, South Columbus and South Third Avenues on Friday, July 4th. The public is invited to learn more about the Mount Vernon’s Old Village Green and the important role it played in American history and freedom of the press. 

Originally located on the Village Green of the Town of Eastchester, St. Paul’s Church is famous for its connection with the patriotic printer John Peter Zenger and the establishment of an American free press. A pre-program concert will begin at10:30 a.m. A formal program will begin at 11 a.m. with greetings by Mayor Ernest D. Davis.

A keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Phillip Panaritis, ‎teacher, historian and project director at NYC Department of Education, is responsible for overseeing Telling America’s Story (TAS), an intensive, federally-funded professional development project for American History Teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools in the Bronx Community School Districts 8, 11, & 12.. TAS is a partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the history and education departments of major universities and cultural institutions. The program combines content-rich traditional American History and teaching skills development for Teacher-Historians. Workshops take place in museums, historic houses, and universities. Instruction and content is provided by nationally-known historians and educators.

John P. Baning, Jr. will read America’s founding charter for the 130th year by a member of the Banning Family. The reading will be  is accompanied by a 13-ring salute on the historic church bell, which was cast in 1758. Banning’s grandfather, Archibald T. Banning, was elected Coroner and Health Officer in 1893 and was the promoter and one of the founders of the Mount Vernon Hospital. He also held the position of President of the Mount Vernon Medical Society.

The public is invited to tour St. Paul’s in commemoration of the 251st  anniversary of the 1763 beginning of construction on the fieldstone church.  Music will be performed by the Peter Lawrence Jazz Band and refreshments will be served. Children can enjoy historic games and toys on the Old Village Green. The Mayor’s Independence Day Committee is chaired by Mrs. Rosemarie Cornacchio. For additional information, please call 914.665.2312.