Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big Ben celebrates 150 years of bongs

Updated on : Sunday, July 12, 2009

LONDON: Britain's Big Ben is marking its 150th birthday with a celebration in London on Saturday.

The booming bell first pealed on July 11, 1859 — a few weeks after the clock in the famous tower above the Houses of Parliament began keeping time.

A projection wishing the bell a happy birthday will be broadcast on the south side of the 315-foot (96-meter) tower at about 10 p.m. (2100 GMT; 5 p.m. EDT).

Mike McCann, the keeper of the Great Clock, says Big Ben stands as a magnificent example of engineering — and is much-loved.

Big Ben's bongs are a cherished feature of life in London. They mark the hour and are carried globally by the BBC. The event is one of several honoring the 150th anniversary of the British landmark.

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