Tower Darkens for 50th Anniversary of Campus Tragedy
The University of Texas at Austin Tower will be dark Monday, August 1 as part of a day of remembrance honoring victims of the Tower shooting 50 years prior.
Before the Tower darkens at night, the UT Austin community will come together to remember the mass shooting that took place Aug. 1, 1966 and to honor the victims and those who suffered from the tragedy.
As part of the day of remembrance, a new memorial will be dedicated during a public ceremony, and the Tower’s clock will stop at 11:48 a.m. — the time when the shooting began 50 years ago — for 24 hours. During that time, the flags on the Main Mall will be lowered to half staff.
The day of remembrance ceremony begins with the Tower Carillon’s Tolling of the Bells at 11:40 a.m. and continues at noon with procession from the Main Mall to the Tower Garden, where survivors, students, alumni and President Gregory L. Fenves will rededicate the garden in memory of “all the people who suffered as a result of the tragedy” and dedicate the new memorial.
The Tower’s clock has been stopped only one other time: to mark the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Darkening the Tower is a symbolic gesture reserved for significant solemn occasions like the annual UT Remembers memorial service.
To document the tragedy ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Tower shooting, a team of graduate students and a professor in the Department of History published a public history of the shooting. And in collaboration with UT Austin’s Briscoe Center for American History, the Texas Standard, a program produced on campus at KUT Public Radio, aired an hour-long oral history of the tragedy.