Rhodes Participates in National Bell Tolling to Honor MLK 50

Rhodes College participated in a bell tolling to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis.

Beginning at 6:03 p.m. CST on April 4, the bell in Halliburton Tower tolled 39 times in total to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth. Those on campus were asked to observe a moment of silence as the bell tolled.

Since the news of Dr. King’s untimely death rippled throughout the country on that day 50 years ago, the bells rang first at the National Civil Rights Museum beginning at 6:01 p.m. and then spread throughout the city of Memphis, followed by the rest of the country, and ultimately the world.

President Marjorie Hass worked with the National Civil Rights Museum to ask other colleges throughout the country to participate in the bell tolling.

"The bell tolling provides our community with the opportunity to take a moment of reflection; a moment to think about Dr. King’s legacy; a moment to consider the theme of this commemoration: Where Do We Go From Here?” Hass says. 

Dedicated in 1962, Richard Halliburton Memorial Tower at Rhodes College is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 140-foot tower houses a massive bronze bell—cast in France—that can be heard not only on campus but also in the surrounding neighborhood.