May 2020

This Day in History: Big Ben Goes Into Operation in London

May 31, 1859. Perhaps the most famous clock tower in the world, Big Ben was designed after a fire destroyed the Palace of Westminster in 1834. Set upon the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is known for its spot on accuracy. The timekeeping of the tower is regulated by coin stacks located on the clock's pendulum. It is said to be named after the long-winded London commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall. Big Ben survived the severe destruction of the London bombings during World War II, continuing to ring out on the hour. It went silent for the first time in its history in 2017 for renovations meant to last until 2021.