The Robert A. Taft Memorial Carillon
Sculpture by Wheeler Williams
Architecture by Douglas W. Orr, 1959
The memorial consists of a 100-foot Tennessee marble tower and a 10-foot bronze statue of Senator Taft. The twenty-seven bells in the upper part of the tower are among the finest in the world and were cast in the Paccard Bell Foundry in Annecy, France. The largest and deepest bell weighs 7 tons; the smallest weighs 126 pounds. under computer control, they strike and play music on the hour and sound on the quarter hour; they can also be played manually for concerts or to mark official observances. At the dedication ceremony on April 14, 1959, former President Herbert Hoover stated, "When these great bells ring out, it will be a summons to integrity and courage."
Robert A. Taft was born on September 8, 1889, in Cincinnati, Ohio; his father, William Howard Taft, was the only person to serve as both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Robert Taft was elected to the Senate in 1938 and served until his death in New York on July 31, 1953. Construction of the memorial was authorized by the Congress in 1955, and it was funded by popular subscription from every state in the nation. Its purpose, as noted in the inscription above the statue,
is to honor Taft's "honesty, indomitable courage, and high principles of free government".
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