Tulane takes out 'Victory Bell' 'now that we understand its history'
In a letter to the campus community, the president of the university cited the bell's ties to slavery.
Tulane University has removed the iconic Victory Bell from campus.
Tulane University has removed its iconic Victory Bell from campus after officials learned of the bell's ties to slavery.
"It is terribly disheartening to learn that it is, in fact, a vestige of a horrific part of our nation's past," Tulane University President Mike Fitts wrote in a letter to the campus community, according to the student newspaper Tulane Hullabaloo. "Now that we understand its history as an instrument of slavery, continuing to use this bell in a celebratory manner would run counter to our values."
The bell had become an icon on the Louisiana campus and was often used to celebrate basketball games and commencement ceremonies.
According to NOLA.com, the bell was moved Thursday from its central location on campus to a storage facility. The university is now further investigating the bell's history. According to Fitt's letter, the bell was made in 1825 and was used to signal the time of day for slaves, who were not allowed to carry watches. The bell was moved to the Tulane campus in the early 1960s, according to the campus newspaper.
"Now that we understand its history as an instrument of slavery, continuing to use this bell in a celebratory manner would run counter to our values as a university community," Fitts said in the letter. "As an academic institution, we believe it is important to find a way to use this bell to further our knowledge and understanding of slavery and pursue a more just society."
The Hullabaloo reported a committee has been tasked with determining what will replace the bell on the now-empty pedestal.