It’s the wee hours of the morn, and you’re in deep sleep mode. You’re sprawled under the sheets, probably alone, dreaming about six-figure salaries or that one hot TF. Suddenly, all fantasies are shattered as the clanging of bells shakes you awake.
Why do the god-awful bells of Memorial Church ring incessantly every morning at 8:41 a.m.? Before we reveal the truth, here are some alternative conspiracy theories…
Universal Alarm: To avoid rampant absences and lateness, Harvard University decided long ago to ring the bells before 9 a.m. as an underhanded way to wake up groggy freshman and encourage classroom attendance.
John Harvard's Request: Although he didn’t have any children, there had to be a way for him to pass on some type of legacy. So, before dying and donating his property to Harvard, John himself requested the bells ring at this time as a show of tribute.
Remembering Roots: 8:41 a.m. commemorates the time at which Harvard was formally founded by Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636.
Crazy Tourists: Rubbing John Harvard’s foot isn’t the only way to get some of that ‘Harvard luck’. A new tourist tradition includes visiting Memorial Church right at 8:41 a.m. and ringing the bells as a sign of good (and much cleaner) luck.
Disappointingly, none of the above was the case. But, after some hardcore investigating, Flyby has gotten to the bottom of the question, “What’s Up With the Damn Bells?!”
The Real Explanation: Memorial Church tolls its bells every morning as a call to service for its churchgoers. So the next time you wake up, irritated by the damn bells, silently curse the virtuous church-mice, roll over, and return to your sinful dreams about capitalism (or that hot TF).