LONDON'S BIG BEN TO RING IN OLYMPIC GAMES
London's iconic Big Ben clock will ring consecutively for three minutes to kick off the Olympic Games on Friday, July 27. The historic ring is set to chime 42 times between 8:12am and 8:15 a.m. on tomorrow, as tens of thousands of visitors, athletes, and officials gather in London to celebrate in the opening ceremony.
This is not a only a big deal because of the games themselves, but as organizers told the Associated Press, apparently Big Ben hasn't rung outside its regular hours since the funeral of King George VI in 1952 –who was none other than the father of Queen Elizabeth II. On that day, it tolled every minute for 56 strokes honoring his passing. For the Olympic Games, special permission was granted by Britain's parliament freeing the "bell to toll" outside its normal schedule.
"It is a sign of how special this summer is when one of the world’s most famous bells will ring outside its regular schedule,” said John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament.
The event is part of the London 2012 cultural festival, a series of events coinciding with the Olympics, said to be designed by Britain's own Turner Prize-winning musical artist Martin Creed, who has coordinated to have other clocks ring simultaneously throughout the country.
The chiming sequence is entitled 'All the Bells'.
The bells in the assemblies of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – which make up the United Kingdom with England, are expected to also chime in unison with Big Ben.
The great Big Ben bell clock sits atop of the parliament’s 96-metre clock tower and Big Ben is often used to refer to the tower itself.
This world-famous clock tower was named after Ben Caunt, a 19th century English bare-knuckle boxer who became a "heavyweight" boxing champion known as Big Ben, in whose name the bell tolls.