Bell ringing on April 9 to commemorate Civil War’s end

Bells will ring across Minnesota at 2:15 p.m. on April 9, to commemorate the end of the Civil War.

It was that day, 150 years ago, that Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant met with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to set the terms of surrender.

Minnesota played a big role in the War Between the States, and has held dozens of events for the sesquicentennial.

The bell ringing will go on for four minutes, officials said, one minute for each year of the war.

They’re hoping to enlist bell ringers at churches, temples, schools, city halls, public buildings, historic sites and other places to join in the clanging. 

State Rep. Dean Urdahl, co-chair of the state’s Civil War Commemoration Task Force, said: “April 9, 1865 is a day that changed our country forever and we encourage people throughout Minnesota to join together in remembrance.”

The other co-chair, former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, said: “The end of the Civil War has deep meaning and people may feel a wide range of emotions during this commemoration. We ask that citizens take a moment to reflect during this monumental moment in state and national history.”

State officials will compile a list of bells to be rung, and ask organizations to email their plans to Erik Anderson of the Minnesota Historical Society at erik.anderson@mnhs.org.

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