The International Friendship Bell
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

An Interactive & Pictorial Chronology
©Edward W. Lollis, May 2008

geovisual at

"The bell was built to honor the workers of the Manhattan Project, to commemorate 50th birthday of Oak Ridge and to become a symbol and everlasting monument for the peace. The bell is for everyone, the young and the old. I feel something very special about this town, the town born of war, living for peace and growing through science.”-- Shikego Yoshino Uppuluri, letter to editor of The Oak Ridger, August 7, 1995.

"The bell...will survive long after all the participants in the Manhattan project and the objectors to ‘apologizing’ to Japan have been forgotten. What will remain is this symbol. I hope it will become a shrine for the many visitors who, by their pilgrimage to the Friendship Bell, will be participating in the sanctification of Hiroshima and the permanence of the tradition of nonuse [of nuclear weapons]."-- Dr. Alvin M. Weinberg [1915-2006], "The First Nuclear Era: The Life and Times of a Technological Fixer [autobiography],” American Institute of Physics, New York, 1994, page 270.

"It is the expectation and desire of the City Council, on behalf of all the people of Oak Ridge, that the friendship bell, for years to come, will send these messages and serve these two important community purposes: FIRST: To celebrate the past 50 years of growing friendship and peace with Japan... SECOND: To express for the future the profound longing and commitment to work for freedom, well-being, justice and peace for all the peoples of the world. This is a yearning we share not only with the friends of Japan but with many other nations of the world..."-- City Council resolution, February 7, 1996 (drafted by Bill Wilcox and unanimously recommended by the ad hoc Bell Policy Committee).

"Let the bell work!... The whole [bell policy] committee...grew excited as we thought of it’s [sic] ritual daily ringings’ becoming an Oak Ridge tradition and an event of pilgrimage for visitors. I’m convinced that ‘two years, ten years’ from now EVERYONE will ask : 'Why was there ever any quarrel about this?'"-- Rev. Dwyn Mounger, private letter to Ed Nephew, Herman Postma, and Alvin Weinberg, October 6, 1995.

Right click image to enlarge. // Click here for index to all 154 names. | Click here for an interactive list of people associated with the International Friendship Bell. Photo by EWL.

August 20, 1972 - Dr. Venkata Ramamohana Rao (Ram) Uppuluri (born in Andhra Pradesh, India) and Shigeko Yoshino Uppuluri (born in Kyoto, Japan) are naturalized during a ceremony at the 1905 federal courthouse in Greenville, TN. Acording to Shigeko, "We wanted to vote in November and it would be too late to vote if we waited to attend [the ceremony] in Knoxville. There were people of many nationalities, Germans, Italians, Koreans, Mexicans, Indians and Japanese and others. The judge congratulated us, saying with strong but warm voice, ‘Welcome to the United States.’ Afterward...each of us was given an American flag." (Ram and Shigeko met and married while both were graduate students at Indiana University, and their son Ram Yoshino Uppuluri was born in Bloomington,IN, in 1961.
May 1, 1982 - In a speech opening the Knoxville World's Fair, President Ronald Reagan says: “The Clinch River reactor, which will use new breeder technology, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory... symbolize our commitment to developing safe nuclear energy and technology to secure our energy future.” The fair's theme is "Energy Turns the World," based on the proximity of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), ORNL, and the two largest facilities remaining from the Manhattan Project: Y-12 and K-25.
October 31, 1982 - The Knoxville World's Fair ends with no evidence of the anticipated growth and development in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge area. Oak Ridge is even more disappointed when the Census Bureau announces that the city actually lost population between 1980 (27,662) and 1990 (27,310).
April 16, 1983 - Growth and Development Conference at Oak Ridge High School. Congesswoman Marilyn Lloyd creates the Committee of 50 to foster growth and development in Oak Ridge and to organize the celebration of Oak Ridge's 50th anniversary in 1992 (exactly ten years after the Knoxville World's Fair).
June 1983 - Nissan North America, Inc., starts production in Smyrna, TN (154 road miles from Oak Ridge). This is largest single investment in Tennessee and one of the largest auto plants in the world (the largest?). The plant assembles Nissan Altima, Xterra, and Frontier and fosters other Japanese investment in Tennessee.
October 26, 1983 - U.S. Senate kills the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project after spending $1.4 billion. Under construction since September 22, 1982, the breeder reactor and power plant would have ensured Oak Ridge's place in the forefront of nuclear power research and development. Dr. Alvin Weinberg (ORNL director 1955-1973) calls the decision "One of greatest technological policy errors." Twenty-five years later, TVA will still be trying to sell the reactor's 1,245-acre site on the Clinch River (in yellow on the map).
December 1985 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg publishes "The Sanctification of Hiroshima" in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for the 40th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb. Photo shows the ceremony which takes place on each anniversary of the bomb which leveled Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The Hiroshima Boys Choir (HBC) is in the lower left. Also see "The Legacy of Hiroshima: A Half-Century Without Nuclear War" by Thomas Schilling who delivered a paper in Oak Ridge on May 4, 1996 (qv).
1986 - Governor Lamar Alexander acknowledges his state's growing partnership with Japan by publishing a 182-page coffee table book, “Friends: Japanese and Tennesseans: A model of U.S.-Japan Cooperation” with photos from Japan and Tennessee by Robin Hood of Chattanooga, TN.

September 1987 - Dr. Ram Uppuluri and Shigeko Uppuluri visit Japan (one of their several visits to each others' homelands). Shigeko takes the upper photo of Ram (figure on left, under bell) and a Japanese scientist (Mr. Koike) inspecting a traditional Buddhist bell at the Gannyu-ji Temple in Oarai (near the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) in in Tokaimura, Ibaraki, Japan). This photo will be published in The Oak Ridger on July 14, 1988 (qv), and also used to illustrate the 1990 proposal for the International Friendship Bell (qv). (The Gannyu-ji bell is suspended in a modern steel structure. The lower photo shows the same bell, as specially photographed in 2004 by a contributor to a photo website in Tokyo, Japan.)
Original Bell Idea
Late 1987 - Dr. Ram Uppuluri writes "A Proposal to Enhance Tourism in Tennessee" soon after returning to Oak Ridge from Japan. "Should we call this project TOROO KANE (Bell surrounded by rows of Stone Lanterns) or should we call this Project Peace Bell?" Click here to see this one-page document which was found in the archives of the Childrens Museum of Oak Ridge (CMOR). Photo shows famous stone lanterns (toro) in Nara, Japan.
July 14, 1988 - Article in the Oak Ridger announces: "Friendship bell is planned for Oak Ridge area... A planning chaired by [Shigeko] Uppuluri, and also consists of James “Buzz” Elkins, vice president of First American Bank in Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Councilwoman Elaine Trauger [Mrs. Donald Trauger] and Oak Ridge attorney Eugene Joyce."
August 1988 - Meiji Gakuin University (former Tokyo Union Theological School) purchases the 144-acre campus of the Tennessee Military Institute (TMI) in Sweetwater, TN (41 road miles from Oak Ridge), and opens Tennessee Meiji Gakuin (TMG), the first accredited Japanese language high school in the United States. Unfortunately, TMG will lose boarding students in the aftermath of 9/11 and be forced to close its doors after the last graduation on March 7, 2007.
Formal Proposal
January 26, 1990 - Dr. Joe Tittle of the Oak Ridge Community Foundation (ORCF), which replaced the Committee of 50, requests proposals for a "lasting legacy for the 50th Anniversary -- a ‘monument’, so to speak, to become a visible, continuing symbol of the celebration theme ‘Born of War, Living for Peace, Growing Through Science.’" Two proposals will be approved: The bell and the performing arts pavilion. Four will not be approved: Higher education, Childrens Museum expansion, carillon to mark the city center, and "The Visionary" (hilltop statue of John Hendrix). The winning bell proposal is written by Ethel McDonald and signed by Shigeko Uppuluri. (Dr. Joe Tittle is an orthopedist who collected Asian art when he was based in the Philippines as a US Air Force officer and travelled all over Southeast Asia.)

October 29, 1990 - Oak Ridge, Tennessee, becomes a sister city of Naka-machi, Ibaraki, Japan, when an agreement is signed by mayors Roy F. Pruett and Yasusato Asakawa. Oak Ridge hosts the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Naka-machi is close to Tokaimura (see September 1987 above) and hosts the Naka Fusion Research Establishment of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) which is now the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Naka-machi will contribute $14,008 from 420 citizens to the International Friendship Bell. The Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) will contribute $23,121 from 571 members. Lowest image shows an architectural model of the Intrnational Friendship Bell pavilion in a glass case in the Naka-machi city hall (near tapestry made in Oak Ridge).
About 1991 - Oak Ridge artist Suzanna Harris designs two panels (one with symbols of Tennessee and one with comparable symbols of Japan) which will be cast into the bell in 1993 side-by-side. Both panels are traversed by a rainbow ending in an atomic symbol (which Harris intends to be on opposite sides of the bell). Click here to see a sketch of the Tennessee panel. Click here to see a sketch of the Japanese panel. Harris will move to Russia, then move to Australia, and then return to Oak Ridge.
Early 1991 - Prof. Jon Coddington designs a pavilion (also called "bell house") based on the vernacular cantilevered barns of East Tennessee but which also combines elements of Asian and Western architecture. Prof. Coddington teaches architecture at the University of Tennessee and lives in Oak Ridge. A cardbord model made by UT architecture students is taken to Naka-Machi where it resides in a glass showcase. A second model is made which is still in Tennessee but is not on display and has no permanent guardian. Coddington is now head of the architecture department at Ball State Univeristy, Muncie, IN.
Bell War #1

October 1991 - Publicity for the forthcoming Friendship Bell Festival (qv) provokes the first of three "bell wars," fought largely in the domain of public opinion. In 1991, The Oak Ridger newspaper publishes nine anti-bell letters and five pro-bell letters (i.e. 64% anti). Helen Kuhns writes the first letter complaining about the expense of the anniversary celebration and warning that taxpayer's money should not be spent on the bell. Clarence Frederick Runtsch follows by blasting any bell "which is Japanese in concept." Radford M. Carroll calls the bell "a private religious expression" but also "an implied insult to the thousands of Oak Ridge workers who...forced an early end to a bloody war." Runtsch claims that he's heard from "many individuals" who have expressed "overwhelming opposition" to the bell. (Runtsch is a US Marine Corps veteran of WW-II and the sculptor whose "Visionary" proposal was turned down by the ORCF in 1990. Upper photo shows Runtsch presenting framed copies of the Bill of Rights in Anderson County schools. Lower photo shows page from Runtsch's "Visionary" proposal in 1990. In 1993, Carroll will change his mind and offer the bell a "somewhat lukewarm" welcome.
October 1991 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time. On October 15, Dr. Weinberg becomes honorary chairman of the International Friendship Bell Committee. And, on October 18, he publishes a guest column in The Oak Ridger: "Friendship Bell could be an important symbol here". Ethel McDonald remains chair of the bell committee.

October 20, 1991 - Friendship Bell Festival takes place at Oak Ridge Mall, organized by Ram Uppuluri Jr.. Photo by Ruth Carey shows Patti Loch (now Patti Loch Shelton), Dr. Jon Veigel, Ram Uppuluri Jr., Dr. John Haffey, Ethel McDonald, and all seven members of the Oak Ridge City Council (Jerry Kuhaida, Tim Stallings, Will Minor, Ed Nephew, Bob Spore, Pat Rush, and mayor Roy F. Pruett).

A full-size mock up of the bell made by Keiko Murikami bears the following inscription by Dr. Joe Tittle: "This monument was cast in Japan and placed here in memory of all of the workers of the Manhattan projet, 1942-1946, as a symbol of everlasting peace and goodwill among all people of the world. Oak Ridge 50th Birthday, September 19, 1992."

June 1992 - The Oak Ridge Community Foundation (ORCF) launches Oak Ridge's 50th birthday celebration. Instead of the Friendship Bell (which was originallly intended to be dedicated on opening day) the inaugural event is the designation of Jackson Square as an "Historic Park" with two history displays, a memorial sidewalk, and an invisible time capsule. A series of celebration events will continue until September 1993. (Photo shows the history displays as taken over in 2003 by the Oak Ridge Garden Club.)
1992 - Dr. Jack Barkenbus edits and publishes "Ethics, Nuclear Deterrence and War" which includes an article by Dr. Alvin Weinberg. Quote: “The use of nuclear deterrence in international relations involves the most momentous policy decision of the latter half of the 20th century. Given the stakes, continual examination of this decision is not only prudent but essential.” Barkenbus is a political scientist and was duputy director of the Institute for Energy Analysis (IEA), Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), while Weinberg was director (1974-1984).
September 4, 1992 - Sudden death of Ethel McDonald, who had lived in Japan as a US Air Force dependent and done volunteer work in Japanese hospitals. Dr. Alvin Weinberg becomes de facto chair of the Friendship Bell Committee.
Spring 1993 - Someone decides to inscribe the dates of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), Hiroshima (August 6, 1945), Nagasaki (August 9, 1945), and VJ-Day (August 14, 1945) on the bell instead of the more descriptive inscription by Dr. Joe Tittle which had been displayed during the Friendship Bell Festival in 1991 (qv). This shifts the "meaning" of the bell away from the Manhattan Project and toward WW-II events in the Pacific.
Bell War #2
April 15, 1993 - In 1993, The Oak Ridger newspaper publishes eighteen anti-bell letters and sixteen pro-bell letters (i.e. 53% anti). John Preston launches the second bell war by charging that the four names and dates "suggest a moral equivalency...between the heinous acts of the Japanese...and the way we responded with...nuclear bombs, to end the war." The second bell war includes many critical letters from out-of-town members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association (PHSA). See August 1993 for continuation.

April 6, 1993 - Bellmaker Sotetsu Iwazawa visits site newly chosen site for the Intrnational Friendship Bell. Photo shows Jon Coddington, Jeff Broughton (city manager), Sotetsu Iwazawa, Shigeko Uppuluri, Iwazawa's granddaughter, Dr. Charles Coutant, Dr. John Haffey, and Dr. Joe Tittle. Iwazawa attends a US/Japan conference of Rotary International organized for the 50th birthday celebration. Dr. Alvin Weinberg and Shigeko Uppuluri assure the ORCF that enough money is in sight (including an "anonymous" $10,000 pledge from Weinberg himself). And ORCF president (publisher of The Oak Ridger newspaper) signs a contract for the International Friendship Bell with Iwazawa. The bell costs $83,000 ($125,000 less Iwazawa's "discount" of $42,000). Iwazawa has already cast bells for two other US locations: Gardena (CA) and Portland (OR).
Bell Casting

July 14, 1993 - Casting of the International Friendship Bell by Sotetsu Iwazawa at his foundry in Kyoto, Japan. Attended by Mayor Edmund (Ed) Nephew, Marese Nephew, Dr. Ram Uppuluri, Shigeko Uppuluri, Ram Uppuluri Jr., a friend of Shigeko (Yuko Fukuda), and a group from the University of Tennessee (Wendell Barnes, Patricia Davis-Wiley, Marie Griffin, Dennie Ruth Kelly, Sook-Hyun Kim, Ann Lester, Martha Osborne, Prof. Pat Postma, Prof. Carl J. Remenyki, Dr. C. Glennon Rowell, and Prof. J. Paul Watkins). Dr. Herman Postma (ORNL director 1974-1988) attends as the spouse of Prof. Postma. He makes a video of the casting and will succeed Dr. Weinberg as chair of the Friendship Bell Committee after returning to Oak Ridge.
July 15, 1993 - The entire Tennessee delegation visits Hiroshima and rings the Peace Bell in Peace Memorial Park. As official representative of the city which produced the Hiroshima bomb, Mayor Ed Nephew is pursued by the Japanese press. (Photo shows Dr. Ram Uppuluri at the Hiroshima Peace Bell.)
July 17, 1993 - After waiting for the mold to cool, the Tennessee delegation returns to Kyoto to see the shiny new International Friendship Bell for the first time. Bellmaker Iwazawa tests the sound of the bell and proclaims that the casting was successful. (Photos of the bell and of Pat Postma taken by Dr. Herman Postma. See photo of bell at the very top of this webpage.)

August 1993 - The Oak Ridger interviews mayor Ed Nephew and Prof. Pat Postma August 5 about the casting in Japan. Prof. Postma is quoted as saying, "Those [two] dates are a reminder to all people to not do it again. It [the bell] recognizes the folly of those two days [Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima]." Clarence Runtsch replies August 9, "The proposed Japanese bell is not a bell of peace. Instead it rings of treachery, enslavement, rape and other repugnant crimes against humanity...." On August 15, Dr. Minton J. and Tommye Kelly comment, "Ms. Postma considers dropping the bomb was folly; we disagree. It saved countless American and Japanese lives because beachhead invasion...was no longer required." Images show Ed Nephew and Prof. Postma (travelling in China).
August 4, 1994 - Democratic primary election. Ram Uppuluri Jr. carries Oak Ridge but is defeated in the Third Congressional District as a whole. Republican Zach Wamp will defeat the Democratic candidate in the general election and replace Marilyn Lloyd. Having been graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School, Ram will work for the Nashville/Davidson County government.
September 11, 1994 - "Calling Dr. Mengele," a play by Randall Norris, is given a staged reading at the Oak Ridge Playhouse, thus ending a year-long controversy involving Dick Smyser, founding editor of The Oak Ridger, and others. Norris' play suggests that radiation experiments were conducted at Oak Ridge as brutal as those of Nazi Josef Mengele. Norris is now Professor of English and American Cultural Studies at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, IL.
October 13, 1994 - Nobel Prize for physics is awarded to Dr. Clifford Shull [1915-2001] for neutron-scattering work he did at Oak Ridge's Graphite Reactor in 1946-1955. His neutron deffractometer is permanently displayed at the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) in Oak Ridge.
Late 1994 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg's autobiography ("The First Nuclear Era: The Life and Times of a Technological Fixer") is published by the American Institute of Physics, New York, pp. 291. Sections are devoted to "The Sanctification of Hiroshima" (pp. 266-269) and to "The International Friendship Bell" (pp. 269-270). See quotation at the top of this webpage.
April 19, 1995 - Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.
April 20, 1995 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg's 80th birthday. In anticipation, Bill Cabage (editor of the ORNL Reporter) and Carolyn Krause (editor of the ORNL Review) interview him at his home in Oak Ridge. The interview says incorrectly that "this bronze bell [in Oak Ridge] was made by the same bellmaker who cast the original Hiroshima bell."
Spring 1995 - Los Alamos County Council turns down the offer of the Children's Peace Statue, so it is placed in nearby Santa Fe, NM. Los Alamos still has no monument to peace, friendship, or reconciliation, as do Honolulu (HI), Idaho Falls (ID), Livermore (CA), New York (NY), Oak Ridge (TN), Richland (WA), St. Paul (MN), and other cities related to the atomic bomb and atomic energy.
May 3, 1995 - Air & Space Museum Director Martin Harwit resigns over B-29 Enola Gay issue at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
June 6, 1995 - City election replaces three members of the City Council favorable to the International Friendship Bell with members who are very sensitive to negative public opinion. (Photo shows mayor Kathy Moore, leader of the "cleen sweep" election.)
July 11, 1995 - Death of Dr. Ram Uppuluri, followed by memorial service at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church led by Rev. Howard Box. Speakers are Dr. Alvin Weinberg, Dr. Doan Phung, and Ram Uppuluri Jr. Yuko Fukuda plays the koto. Dr. Uppuluri was a mathematician at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). (Image of Ram is characterization which he chose for his column on mathematics in the ORNL Review. Other image shows Yuko Fukuda playing the koto at the bell on September 19, 2000.)
Bell War #3

July 1995 - In 1995, The Oak Ridger newspaper publishes twenty-five anti-bell letters and forty pro-bell letters (i.e. 62% pro). Tommye Fleming Kelley proposes that the four names and dates be removed from the bell. Then she and her dentist Dr. J.D. Johnson propose that the bell be rung only on Memorial Day. An August 3 letter from Dr. Johnson says, "Of one thing I am certain. We do not want this bell to become a shrine and a Mecca for all the anti-nuclear activists [read OREPA] who do not understand or recognize the difference between nuclear war and peaceful uses of nuclear energy..." Shigeko Uppuluri replies on August 7 that she wants to ring it on the anniversary of her and Ram's naturalization in 1972 (qv): "The Bell is for the young and the old." See quotation at the very top of this webpage.

(Tommye Kelly is seen in the upper photos as a US Marine Corps air navigation instructor during WW-II and in the middle photo with her husband Dr. Minton J.Kelly on their 50th wedding anniversary, November 23, 1999. The lower photo shows Dr. J.D. Johnson.

August 6, 1995 - On the 50th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, Rev. Dwyn Mounger, new minister of the First Presbyterian Church, reads a "Litany of Remembrance" and rings a miniature International Friendship Bell, for all tragedies including the Oklahoma City bombing. Click here to see the litany. Mounger will persuade the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church to designate August 6 "Day of Prayer for Nuclear Peace." He will repeat the "Litany of Remembrance" on five of the six Hiroshima Days he is in Oak Ridge.

September 5, 1995 - Oak Ridge City Council hears arguments for and against the bell from Rev. R. Boyd Carter, John Clark, Wayne Clark, Dr. Tom Cole, Rev. Larry Dipboye, Jean Doane, Dr. John Haffey, Phillip Hobson, Dr. J.D. Johnson, Stephen Kaplan, Tommye Kelly, James Kolb, Harold McCurdy, Louise McKown, Rev. Dwyn Mounger, Dr. Herman Postma, William Sallee, Robert Stone, Elaine Trauger (Mrs. Donald Trauger), and Dr. Alvin Weinberg. Council votes three times 4-3. The swing vote (to create a seven member Bell Policy Committee chaired by Diantha Pare) is cast by David Bradshaw, thus saving the International Friendship Bell from rejection by the City of Oak Ridge. (Image shows mayor Kathy Moore conferring with David Bradshaw.)
September 15, 1995 - Rev. Dwyn Mounger convenes a meeting of Dr. Alvin Weinberg, Presbyterian peace leaders from Atlanta and Louisville, and Presbyterian leaders of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) to discuss the "sanctification of Hiroshima." Nothing will come from this meeting. Mounger and Weinberg outline a co-authored book on the "sanctificaion of Hiroshima," but the book is never written.
October 6, 1995 - The seven members of the Bell Policy Committee (Thelma Brown, David L. Coffey, Wanda Craven, Adrian Hill, Dr. J.D. Johnson, Tommye Kelly, and Rev. Dwyn Mounger) vote unanimously to accept a draft "statement of purpose" and plaque written by Bill Wilcox. (Photo shows Wilcox with a Knoxville newspaper he's saved from VJ Day in 1945.)
Bell Acceptance
February 8, 1996 - City Council agrees to take possession of the International Friendship Bell by adopting ringing restrictions and the texts of the "statement of purpose" and plaque which were drafted by Blll Wilcox and recommended by the Bell Policy Committee.
March 4, 1996 - The International Friendship Bell is transported from the Municipal Building and permanently hung in the bell house (pavilion) in A.K. Bissell Park. Shigeko Uppuluri, Dr. Herman Postma, and Dr. Alvin Weinberg (as seen in photo) oversee the move and test the bell with a small mallet.
Legal Challenge

April 4, 1996 - Robert Brooks sues the City of Oak Ridge claiming that the bell "is a Buddhist symbol whose presence [in a public park] results in an endorsement of the Buddhist religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution." Brooks was among the very first American soliders to see action in the Pacific during WW-II. While spying at Munda on New Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands, he witnessed Japanese troops praying to a Buddhist bell. The U.S. District Court in Knoxville will rule against Brooks, and the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, OH, will affirm the lower court's ruling against him on July 21, 2000 (qv). (Photos show Brooks in 1940 and 64 years later in 2004.)
May 3, 1996 - Informal luncheon at New China Palace Restaurant, Oak Ridge Marina, Oak Ridge. In photo from right to left: Shigeko Uppuluri, Prof. Keiji Naito, Dr. Alvin Weinberg, Prof. Pat Postma, Dr. Herman Postma, Mrs. Burch, Dr. Bill Burch, Gene Weinberg, and Dr. Tomio Kawata. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tomio Kawata.
Bell Dedication
May 3, 1996 - Dedication of the International Friendship Bell, starting in Pollard Auditorium, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), and continuing across Badger Road at the bell in A.K. Bissell Park. Ceremony is chaired by Dr. Herman Postma. Invocation by Rev. Dwyn Mounger. Address by Dr. Sigvard Eklund, secretary general emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Rev. R. Boyd Carter, representing the Oak Ridge Community Foundation (ORCF), presents the bell to mayor Kathy Moore, representing the City of Oak Ridge. Program for all events on May 3-4 is designed by Marilyn Schuette.
May 3, 1996 - The first ringing of the bell is done by eight carefully selected pairs: (1) Shiho Hayashi and Jason Rowan (Japanese and American childr2en), (2) Kathy Moore and Yasusato Asakawa (mayors of Oak Ridge and Naka-machi), (3) Shigeko Uppuluri and Hugh (Bish) Bishop, (4) Dr. Alvin Weinberg and Dr. Herman Postma, (5) Jon Coddington and Sotetsu Iwazawa, (6) Tom Hill and Rev. R. Boyd Carter (past and current presidents of the ORCF), (7) Dr. Joe Tittle and Dr. John Haffey, (8) Dr. Bill Burch and Dr. Tomio Kawata (both nuclear scientists).
May 3, 1996 - Banquet at Garden Plaza Hotel (now Double Tree Hotel), Oak Ridge. Addresses by Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., and by Dr. Keiji Naito, professor of chemistry, Nagoya University, and president, Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ). A video of the banquet is made by Dr. Herman Postma, who also serves as maser of ceremonies. In photo from right to left: Sotetsu Iwazawa, Dr. Naito, Senator Baker (speaking), and Dr. Postma (partially hidden by microphone). Photo courtesy of Dr. Tomio Kawata.
May 4, 1996 - Conference on "Strengthening the Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons" under the chairmanship of Dr. Alvin Weinberg who also delivers the last paper ("The Bell and the Bomb"). Other pesentations are made by Prof. Thomas Schelling, Prof. Bruce Russett, Prof. Freeman Dyson, Prof. Frederick Seitz, Dr. Jack Barkenbus, Prof. Sidney Drell, Dr. David Fischer, and Admiral Stansfield Turner. The papers will be published by the Energy, Environment & Resources Center (EERC), University of Tennessee (Dr. Jack Barkenbus and Dr. David L. Feldman, editors).
July 1996 - After some minor vandalism to the bell, artist Charles Counts [1937-2000] makes a collage, on which he pens the following poem: "OK RIDGE TENNESSEE. IT IS THIS BELL. TO SERVE AS A SYMBOL. THE ARCHITECTURE OF HOPE. AND SOME YET DO NOT WANT IT TO BE. VANDALISM OF RED PAINT IS NOT BLOOD. I LIFT UP THIS PRAYER. Charles Counts, July 1996."
August 8, 1997 - Marese Nephew (German born wife of former mayor Ed Nephew) challenges the bell ringing restrictions by encouraging a delegation of women from sister city Naka-machi to ring the bell far in exess of the legal limits. Dr. J.D. Johnson and Tommye Kelly demand an investigation, and the Oak Ridge Police Department eventually concludes that the alleged perpitrators cannot be brought to justice because they have returned to Japan.
1997 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg publishes a paper ("The Bell & The Bomb" ) in the Journal of the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC.
1998 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg delivers a paper ("The Bell & The Bomb" ) at a symposium honoring the 100th anniversary of Leó Szilárd's birth, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary. (The website is not correct to say that the bell is a "joint project" of Oak Ridge and Hiroshima.) Szilárd drafted the petition which Dr. Weinberg and most other Oak Ridge scientists signed in 1945 asking that the atomic bomb not be dropped without warning. (Image shows Szilárd and his petition as part of a peace mural on Seminole Street in Atlanta, GA.)
About 1998 - Webpage for the International Friendship Bell is created by Kenichi (Ken) Namiki, teacher at Tennessee Meiji Gakuin. The webpage includes the image of a miniature Friendship Bell (one of 300 donated by Sotetsu Iwaawa). Namiki will return to Japan in March 2004 but will continue to maintain this webpage.
About 1998 - Line drawing of the International Friendship Bell is made by Oak Ridge artist Fred Heddleson for his "TENN.E.SCENE" series©. Note the the drawing clearly shows the chains preventing the ringing of the bell without first obtaining a key from the Municipal Building.
February 27, 1998 - WBIR-TV broadcasts a report on Robert Brooks vs. City of Oak Ridge: Brooks says, "They're praying to a god when they ring that bell. If an altar was out there and the Baptists were out praying, I'd feel exactly the same way." Rev. Dwyn Mounger replies, "Although the bell may look like a religious symbol, that doesn't mean that it is... For example, animists worship trees. So should we take the trees out of our parks?"
Annual Award #1
May 7, 1998 - First International Friendship Bell Award is presented by Rev. R. Boyd Carter, ORCF president, to Dr. Kenneth F. Luckmann before a lecture by former Oak Ridger Dr. Donald S. Coffey, Johns Hopkins University. The award is a miniature International Friendship Bell and $1,000 from ORCF funds left over from the 50th birthday celebration. Luckmann is a gastroenterologist and a leader of the Sister City Support Organization (SCSO).
May 18, 1998 - Controversial exhibit of parts of the the B-29 Enola Gay closes at the Smithsonian Institution's Air & Space Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC.
October 25, 1998 - Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church dedicates its new sancturary. Designed by church member Prof. Jon Coddington, a window in the rear of the sanctuary is deliberately oriented on the International Friendship Bell pavilion (which he also designed) across Oak Ridge Turnpike in A.K. Bissell Park.

December 2, 1998 - Affidavit of Dr. Herman Postma, on which the city's lawyers will base their defense in the case of Robert Brooks vs. City of Oak Ridge. Brooks' expert witness Steven Heine argued that large Asian bells are Buddhist and extremely rare outside of Asia. Postma counters by noting four "such bells" in San Diego, Portland (OR), Honolulu, and Annapolis (MD) -- and by attaching photos of three "such bells" in San Diego, San Pedro (CA), and Seattle.

Without the internet, Dr. Postma is unaware of many additional bells, including Boston, Des Moines, Duluth (MN), Gardena (CA), Kaneohe (HI), Leithbridge (AB), Lexington (VA), Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Ossining (NY), Phoenix, Reading (PA), Salinas (CA), San Francisco, San Marino (CA), Sonoma (CA), Topeka, Toronto (ON), Vancouver (BC), and a second bell in Seattle. (Photos show the 1954 Japanese Peace Bell at the United Nations in New York City, the 1958 Yokahama Friendship Bell in San Diego, and the 1962 Kobe Bell in Seattle.) FYI, the bell at the Buddhist Church in Gardena, the Sapporo Bell in Portland, and the International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge were all cast by Sotetsu Iwazawa in Kyoto.

Annual Award #2
May 10, 1999 - Second International Friendship Bell Award is presented by ORCF president Rev. R. Boyd Carter to Dr. Doan Phung before a lecture by former Oak Ridger Dr. John H. Gibbons, now of The Plains, VA. Dr. Phung left ORNL to create his own company, PAI Corporation. He will move to Las Vegas, NV, and create a fund for the education of youth in his native Vietnam. (Photo is not from the award presentaiton but from earlier occasion when Phung was congratulated for contributing $10,000 to the International Friendship Bell.)
December 31, 1999 - Millenium New Years Eve. Dr. Herman Postma obtains special permission from the City Council to ring the International Friendship Bell, and he and other members of the Sister Cities Support Organization (SCSO) do so at the times of the New Year in Oak Ridge and and in sister cities in Japan and Russia. (This photo is secretly taken by Robert Brooks.) New bells are dedicated on the same day in two adjacent states: The World Peace Bell in Newport, KY, and the American Freedom Bell in Charlotte, NC.
Annual Award #3
May 4, 2000 - Third International Friendship Bell Award is presented by ORCF president Rev. R. Boyd Carter to Wanda Craven before a lecture by Thomas H. Pigford, professor of nuclear engineering emeritus and graduate professor, University of California at Berkeley. Sister of mayor Kathy Moore, Ms. Craven arranged many trips for SCSO members as president of Polaris Travel. She and her husband Pete Craven are pictured on a plaque in the atrium of Roane State Community College(Oak Ridge Branch Campus).
Court Decision
July 21, 2000 - US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, OH, rules in favor of the City of Oak Ridge in the case of Robert Brooks vs. City of Oak Ridge. Two of the three justices rule that the bell is a religious object and therefore subject to the "Lemon test," but all three justices agree that the bell does not meet any of the three prongs of the Lemon test.
August 4, 2000 - The congregation of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church processes from the church to the International Friendship Bell for a worship service conducted by Rev. David Nash Williams on the Sunday closest to the 55th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb. Rev. Carl Bretz (who landed in Nagasaki as a soldier just after the second atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945) rings the bell with a mallet (since the log striker is locked in accordance with the city ordinance). Click here to see the order of service.
October 12, 2000 - The Hiroshima Boys Choir performs at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, TN (145 road miles from Oak Ridge) -- having been cancelled by Lipscomb University in Nashville as being too controversial. Shigeko Uppuluri presents the choir a miniature International Friendship Bell and invites them to visit Oak Ridge, which they will do on March 30, 2006 (qv). (Photo shows the CD of the choir's performance in Murfreesboro.)
March 26, 2001 - President George W. Bush appoints Howard Baker, Jr., to be U.S. ambassador to Japan. Dr. Alvin Weinberg and Oak Ridge councilman Leonard Abbatiello drive to Baker's home in Huntsville, TN, to present him a miniature International Friendship Bell. The Howard Baker, Jr., Center for Public Policy will open in Knoxville in January 2003. Baker will remain ambassador in Tokyo until February 17, 2005.
May 31, 2001 - After successfully appealing to the City Council for the removal of all ringing restrictions, teenager Elise Campbell rings the International Friendship Bell freely for the first time, accompanied by Oak Ridge Major David Bradshaw.
Annual Award #4
June 19, 2001 - Fourth International Friendship Bell Award is presented by ORCF president Rev. R. Boyd Carter to Shigeko Uppuluri before a lecture by her son by Ram Uppuluri Jr., attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Washington, DC. This is the last public act of the Oak Ridge Community Foundation (ORCF). (Photo shows mother and son on November 18, 2006.)
September 11, 2001 - Terrorists crash four passenger planes at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. Five days later, about 80 people gather at the International Friendship Bell to express their grief. (Photo shows Linda Kimmel, Marguerite Blake, Carol Plasil, and Joan-Ellen Zucker.)
December 7, 2001 - Clarence Runtsch, Tommye Kelly, and a few friends ring the International Friendship Bell on the 60th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.
September 18, 2002 - Ray Adams, retired ORNL instrumentation specialist, makes a slide and sound presentation ("Bells - including the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell") to a meeting of the Friends of ORNL (FORNL) at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. Dr. Adams also burns a CD with historical photos of the International Friendship Bell (mostly scans of phtos taken by Dr. Herman Postma) and creates a "Ray's BELL Page" which features a recording of the International Friendship Bell.
Febuary 2003 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg (ORNL director 1955-1973) and Dr. Herman Postma (ORNL director 1974-1988) are key participants in a ceremony at the Graphite Reactor for the 60th anniversary of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
March 5, 2003 - Rita Lasar visits the International Friendship Bell. Ms. Lasar represents September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, having lost a brother at the World Trade Towers on 9/11. (In the photo, Schgeko Uppuluri is showing Ms. Lasar the interior of the bell where the bellmaker's name is engraved both in English and in Japanese.)
Annual Iraq Vigil #1
March 16, 2003 - Global Vigil for Peace at International Friendship Bell, led by Rev. R. Boyd Carter, Chapel on the Hill. One of many vigils coordinated by to express concern about the risk of war in Iraq. (The United States will attack Iraq three days later.) This ceremony pricks the interest of Edward W. Lollis in the International Friendship Bell.
June 26, 2003 - Recording made of Shigeko Uppuluri, Elise Campbell, Claire Harris, and Caroline Rice ringing the International Friendship Bell in preparation for the Apolda World Bell Concert broadcast from Apolda, Germany, on August 2, 2003.
July 5, 2003 - Death of Dr. James David (J.D.) Johnson (age 83). Dr. Johnson was an artillery officer during the Battle of the Bulge and attack on Remagen bridge in Germany. He practiced dentistry 44 years in Oak Ridge, and served on the Board of Regents of the Tennessee university system. The dental hygiene facility at Roane State Community College (Oak Ridge Branch Campus) is named for him (although its website does not say so). This photo hangs on the wall of the dental hygiene facility.
Fall 2003 - Paper by Prof. Miriam Levering, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee: "Are Friendship Bonsho Bells Buddhist Symbols? The case of Oak Ridge," Pacific World, The Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, CA. Levering was paid to prepare testimony in the case of Robert Brooks vs. City of Oak Ridge, but city lawyers did not use it.
December 15, 2003 - The B-29 Enola Gay goes on permanent exhibition at the Air & Space Museum Annex, Smithsonian Institution, Chantilly, VA. Preceeded on Dec. 13 by a conference organized by Prof. Peter J. Kuznick at American University ("Hiroshima in the 21th Century: Will We Repeat the Past?") and by a protest Dec. 14 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Chruch. (Photo shows hibakusha and other protestors in front of the B-29.)
January 16, 2004 - The Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) burns a CD photo resource guide ("Attractions, events, and scenic images of the area") with 88 images. An image of the International Friendship Bell pavilion (seen here) is featured on the cover of the CD. In 2008, the CVB will revise its website and eliminate any reference to the International Friendship Bell.
Annual Iraq Vigil #2
March 19, 2004 - Vigil at the International Friendship Bell on the 1st anniversary of the war in Iraq.
May 8, 2004 - Wedding of Jennifer Denise Lively and David Shawn Alexander at the International Friendship Bell performed by mayor David Bradshaw. Bride and groom ring the bell at the end of the ceremony. This is not the only private wedding -- or memorial service -- to take place at the bell, but this photo got into the newspaper.
June 2004 - Hollywood fashion artist Emmanuel Snitkovsky donates a 8'x5' portrait of Alfred Einstein ("Window to the Univers") to the American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE), apparently as part of his proposal to create a monument to Oak Ridge ("The Science City") c. Snitkovsky.
September 2004 - Stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Japanese Peace Bell at the United Nations in New York City. This bell was presented by the UN Association of Japan in 1954 and is rung by the UN Secretary General on the opening day of the annual session of the UN General Assembly.
November 6, 2004 - Death of Dr. Herman Postma in Hawaii. The Postma Young Professional Medal (illustrating Herman and Pat Postma) is created "to honor the accomplishments of young professionals who [like Herman Postma] have made an impact and fostered a community culture in our region." The award is sponsored by the University of Tennessee, UT-Battelle, and CROET and is given with the Muddy Boot Award at the annual meeting of the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC).
March 2, 2005 - Nathan Leiby (a student at Oak Ridge High School) presents a new brochure about the International Friendship Bell to Josh Collins, Oak Ridge Parks & Recreation Department, for distribution by the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). This and landscaping around the bell pavilion are his Boy Scout public service project. Eagle Scouts Bill Wilcox and Edward W. Lollis will attend the ceremony at the Kern Memorial United Methodist Church when Nathan Leiby becomes an Eagle.
Annual Iraq Vigil #3
March 19, 2005 - Vigil at the International Friendship Bell on the 2nd anniversary of the war in Iraq. Pictured are Sister Mary Dennis Lentsch, Dr. Ray Adams, Janet Vaughen, Vic Vaughen, Schera Chadwick, Virginia M. Jones, Ted Lollis, Dr. Stella Schramm, Ellen Smith, and Rich Norby. Liam Schramm is visible in the background, and Charles Jones took the photo. This vigil took place immediately after the memorial service for Dick Smyser at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church.
April 18, 2005 - Solway Bridge -- which spans the Clinch River (Melton Hill Lake) and links Oak Ridge to Knox County -- is renamed the "Dr. Herman Posma Memorial Solway Bridge" in honor of the late Dr. Herman Postma.
April 20, 2005 - Dr. Alvin Weinberg's 90th birthday is celebrated in the lobby of the Pollard Auditorium, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The auditorim is named for Dr. Weinberg's colleague Dr. William G. Pollard [1911-1989], and the lobby contains a huge flower and peace dove mosaic ("Hymn to Life") by Oak Ridge artist Charles Counts.
June 17, 2005 - Dedication of the Secret City Commemorative Walk in A.K. Bissell Park by Bill Wilcox et al for the 100th anniversary of Rotary International. This monument and the International Friendship Bell are opposites in many ways: The bell's inscriptions are extremely spare, its national symbols are subtle and bilateral (US and Japan), and (except for two plaques added late) it has no words of explanation. The commemorative walk consists almost entirely of bronze plaques and is centered on a huge American flag. (Line drawing by Oak Ridge artist Fred Heddleson.)
July 17, 2005 - PowerPoint presentation on the history of the International Friendship Bell by Edward W. (Ted) Lollis at the Conference organized by Prof. G. Kurt Piehleron the Atomic Bomb and American Society at the Double Tree Hotel, Oak Ridge, July 15-17, 2005, sponsored by the Center for the Study of War & Society, University of Tennessee (on the 60th anniversary of the first atomic explosion at Alamagordo, NM).
July 31, 2005 - Protest at the International Friendship Bell about reductions in Tennessee's health care program (TennCare). Organized by Louise McKown. Music provided by the Sorta Singers, a group of local folk singers.

August 9, 2005 - Commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the non-use of nuclear weapons (60th anniversary of Nagasaki) at the International Friendship Bell led by Rev. R. Boyd Carter, Chapel on the Hill. Edward W. Lollis reads from the writings of Dr. Alvin Weinberg. Shikego Uppuluri plays the koto. Elise Campbell plays the flute. The gathering is attended by Dr. Alvin Weinberg, Dr. Doan Phung, Dr. Donald Trauger, Dr. Jack Barkenbus, Dr. Robert Peelle, and many others. The gathering begins and ends with music provided by the Sorta Singers.
March 15, 2006 - Paper by Edward W. (Ted) Lollis submitted for publication in The Atomic Bomb and American Society: New Perspectives (anthology of the conference on July 15-17, 2005), University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN. The book will appear in late 2008 or early 2009.
Annual Iraq Vigil #4
March 19, 2006 - Vigil at the International Friendship Bell on the 3rd anniversary of the war in Iraq.
March 30, 2006 - Hiroshima Boys Choir (HBC) sings at the International Friendship Bell and at Oak Ridge High School. This fulfills a dream Shigeko Uppuluri had since October 12, 2000 (qv). The visit is lampooned in a Canadian magazine: "Little Boy's Family Reunion."
2006? - Anderson County's retiring district attorney general Jim Ramsey presents a miniature Friendship Bell (and other Oak Ridge memoribilia) to the Le Mémorial de Caen/A Museum for Peace in Caen, Normandy (France), to counterbalence the museum's exhibit about Los Alamos. Photo shows Ramsey (far right) on cover of CAEN Magazine.
October 18, 2006 - Death of Dr. Alvin Weinberg at home in Oak Ridge. On November 18, his niece Judith Goleman will lead a memorial service at Pollard Auditorium, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), at which a miniature International Friendship Bell will be the only decoration (on table draped in black).
November 21, 2006 - PowerPoint presentation about the International Friendship Bell by Edward W. (Ted) Lollis at the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning (ORICL) after a minute of silence for Dr. Weinberg. This is part of an ORICL course on all monuments in Oak Ridge taught by Ted Lollis and Bill Wilcox. See "Newcomer to the area conducts monumental study of Oak Ridge" by Frank Munger in the Knoxville News Sentinel ,October 10, 2006.
November 27, 2006 - ORICL class tours monuments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photo by The Oak Ridger shows Shigeko Uppulurii in front of a life-size portrait of Dr. Herman Postma which is part of an immense computer-created mural by LeJean Hardin showing the history of ORNL. Dominating the ground floor of the new Research Support Center (Building 5200), the mural also depicts Dr. Alvin Weinberg.
Annual Iraq Vigil #5
March 19, 2007 - Vigil at the International Friendship Bell on the 4th anniversary of the war in Iraq.
September 24, 2007 - Visit to Oak Ridge and to the International Friendship Bell by Prof. Peter van den Dungen, Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University (England), and founding president of the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP). Photo shows Rev. Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA), Shigeko Uppuluri, and Prof. van den Dungen at the bell. Photo by EWL.
November 4, 2007 - Anjali Bisaria (a student at the Webb School of Knoxville) designs and installs a new plaque at the International Friendship Bell for a Girl Scout Gold Award project.
December 25, 2007 - Official City of Oak Ridge Christmas card uses drawing of the International Friendship Bell in snow by Oak Ridge artist Fred Heddleson.
January 13, 2008 - Visit to Oak Ridge and to the Intl. Friendship Bell by Takashi Teramoto, atomic bomb survivor (hibakusha) from Hiroshima, and by Steve Leeper, an American citizen from Atlanta, GA, who is chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation in Hiroshima. Photo shows Mr. Teramoto speaking at the regular Sunday evening vigil of OREPA at the entrance to the Y-12 National Security Complex where the uranium was enriched for the Hiroshima bomb in 1945. Mr. & Mrs. Leeper are seated at right. Photo by EWL.
Annual Iraq Vigil #6
March 19, 2008 - Vigil at the International Friendship Bell on the rainy 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq, sponsored by Democracy for East Tennessee (DFET). People in the photo include Peter & Tandy Scheffler, Rev. Howard Box, Tom & Joan Burns, Charles & Virginia Jones, Shigeko Uppuluri, Ed & Marese Nephew, and Sister Mary Dennis Lentsch (holding blue flag). Ted Lollis took the photo. DFET members and friends gather at the International Friendship Bell at 12:30 PM every Sunday to read the names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
May 6, 2008 - D. Ray Smith begins a series of "Historically Speaking" columns on the International Friendship Bell in The Oak Ridger newspaper, "Our International Friendship Bell - A Unique Oak Ridge Symbol:" Part 1 (May 6, 2003), Part 2 (May 28, 2008), Part 3 (June 24, 2008), Part 4 (July 08, 2008), Part 5 (July 14, 2008), Part 6 (July 21, 2008), Part 7 (July 28, 2008), Part 8 (August 4, 2008), . (Photo of Ray Smith taken April 22, 2008.)
June 19, 2008 - Shigeko Uppuluri & D. Ray Smith speak about the International Friendship Bell during an Asian/Pacific Heritage Month celebration at Wackenhut Services Inc.-Oak Ridge. Photo shows Shigeko holding a book from her library, "Japan: A History in Art."
June 20-21, 2008 - From The Nuclear Tourist, travel blog by "City of Oakridge [sic]. My trip took place during the Secret City Festival, which is held every year, on the third weekend of June. This is the Peace Bell [sic], cast in Japan and brought here to Oak Ridge, presumably to show that there are no hard feelings. Note that the log used as a bell ringer is chained and locked. Leaving it open would make for a very noisy and unpeaceful peace park [sic]. Several times a year [sic], amidst great ceremony, the great log is unlocked, and the bell is rung. The Peace Bell pavilion is at the edge of the city's main park, and across from the University [sic]. It is very Oriental in design."
July 31, 2008 - Shigeko Uppuluri receives 2008 Covenant Platinum Award in a ceremony at the Knoxville Convention Center. Sponsored by Covenant Health, the award is made annually to senior citizens who have made significant achievements in the areas of health and fitness, arts and entertainment, community service, and education.
October 6-10, 2008 - Edward W. (Ted) Lollis lectures on peace & friendship monuments worldwide at the 6th International Conference of the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) at the Kyoto Museum for World Peace (Ritsumeikan University), Kyoto University of Arts and Design, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Attended by Shigeko Uppuluri of Oak Ridge & Schera Chadwick of Knoxville.
November 9, 2008 - Photo by "Squirelleen", Peace Memorials on "Long Description: A bell designed in Oak Ridge and cast in 1993 by Japan to honor the friendship since WWII between the community of Oak Ridge and Japan. This is significant as Oak Ridge is the site where one of the bombs dropped on Japan in WWII was developed and manufactured."

February 1, 2009 - "The Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell" by Edward W. (Ted) Lollis. One of 18 papers in "The atomic bomb and American society: New perspectives," University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, edited by Rosemary B. Mariner & G. Kurt Piehler, UT Center for the Study of War and Society (February 1, 2009), pp. 344-380. Published version of PowerPoint presentation made in Oak Ridge on July 17, 2005 [qv]. Click here for text of this book as scanned by Google. THIS web page is a pictorial version of this paper.

January 17, 2010 - "Awakened from Apathy," Sermon Digest by Larry Dipboye, Co-Pastor of Grace Covenant Church, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA). See Jonah 1:4-10. "People who lived in Oak Ridge in the 1990's remember the historic battle of the bell. The spin-off from the city’s fiftieth anniversary celebration in 1993 was a symbol of international friendship in the form of a Japanese peace bell... What was the big stew about? Some viewed the bell as an apology for the bomb. One of my colleagues in ministry objected to the support of 'a theist physicists [sic] who were trying to salve their consciences...' Living in Oak Ridge the past two decades has helped my understanding of Jonah..."

Fall 2010 - "The Sanctification of Hiroshima" by Edward W. (Ted) Lollis is submitted for publication in Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, special issue on "Memorializing Space," University of San Francisco (Fall 2010). About the tradition of the non-use of nuclear weapons, Alvin Weinberg [1915-2006], the Peace Bell in Hiroshima (Japan), and the International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA).

September 23, 2011 - "Peace Bell in Oak Ridge TN," YouTube Video by "Rishika Subagh Savitri Ji Siddhi Sangita Ball." "Peace bell a gift from japan to Oak Ridge [sic]. Laugh and love. Have fun love and light." Click here to see and hear a family ring the bell!
July 14, 2012 - "The International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge represents North America during the [Fourth] World Bell [Concert] in Apolda (Germany). Local organizers use the Internet to connect to the festival and televise the ringing of the Friendship Bell. They also broadcast a short ceremony with Oak Ridge community leaders on Saturday afternoon at A.K. Bissell Park... Pictured from left are Ray Smith, Shigeko Uppuluri, Katy Brown, Charlie Hensley, and Jeanie and Bill Wilcox." /// Click here for an article about the festival by D. Ray Smith.

August 2012 - Self-published books by Ray Smith: "2008 Historically Speaking International Friendship Bell" (columns from The Oakridger newspaper) and "Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell" (photos) "Copies of the first book are available directly online from,, and SmithDRay Web Pages. They are also available by contacting me by e-mail at or by phone at 865-482-4224. /// Click here to see the complete second book on-line. /// Cover images from SmithDRay Blog.
March 9, 2013 - Peace Forum, Rotary International District 6720, Pollard International Conference Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA). Theme: "Peace Through Service." Presentations include "Playing Your Way through a Multicultural World" by Jake Morrill, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Cape Town, South Africa, in 1999 & minister of the Oak Ridge UU Church since 2003. Sakuji Tanaka, President of Rotary International, visits the International Friendship Bell on March 8 & receives a miniature bell from Shigeko Uppulari. Image shows president Tanaka ringing the bell.

April 10, 2013 - "Mobile Tip" by Jennifer Gilmore on "We enjoyed being able to ring this bell and stand inside it!"
April 25, 2013 - 90th birthday reception for William Jenkins (Bill) Wilcox, Jr. at the American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE), Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA). Among his many other contributions to the City of Oak Ridge, Wilcox drafted the "statement of purpose" which permitted the City Council to accept the International Friendship Bell on October 6, 1995 (qv). Image shows Wilcox at the reception standing alongside photo taken when he was a Manhattan Project chemist during WW-II. Photo by Oak Ridge Today.
July 26, 2013 - Yelp! Review by John J., Hickson, TN: "For the longest time, I really didn't 'get' the Peace Bell. Okay. It's majestic, and has a wonderful patina and all. But, why here? Why, given the town's history and reason for being; Oak Ridge, of all places? Then early one morning, I brought my visiting Nisei friend to see and hear the bell... This woman who never stands still, who always murders silence with a laugh or comment, stood for nearly one-half hour, simply gazing at the bell's dark, brooding presence. Then slowly, she gently touched the bell, almost in a caressing fashion, walked to the ringing log, pulled it back, and let it fall, filling the pavilion with a dark, sonorous tone. It seemed to ring forever, before she spoke, 'My grandfather moved the family from the village of Nagasaki, shortly after 1900.' Peace Bell. Take a moment to visit. Maybe, if there were more Peace Bells." /// Photo by Ellen S., Oak Ridge, TN.

September 2, 2013 - Self-published book by Edward W. (Ted) Lollis: "Monumental Beauty: Peace Monuments and Museums Around the World." The result of work started at the International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge. Launched at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Illustrates 416 peace monuments and museums in 70 countries and relates them to the history of world peace. Cover includes photos taken by Ted in Hiroshima, Jerusalem, Toronto, and Washington, DC. The Japanese Peace Bell (bonsho) in Jerusalem was dedicated in April 1996, just a few days before the Oak Ridge bell. The fifth photo was taken outside the Dayton International Peace Museum, the only peace museum in North America.
September 2, 2013 - Death of William Jenkins (Bill) Wilcox, Jr., Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA). Among his many other contributions to the City of Oak Ridge, Wilcox drafted the "statement of purpose" which permitted the City Council to accept the International Friendship Bell on October 6, 1995 (qv). Image shows Wilcox with his hand on plaque which is short version of his "statement of purpose." Photo by Ray Smith.

July 28, 2014 - Demolition of bell house (pavilion), International Friendship Bell, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA). From WATE-TV July 21: "The city determined earlier this year that most of the structure, which is holding the 8,000 pound Friendship Bell, is beyond repair. A construction fence was then put up around the bell house to block access. The city will now dismantle the bell house and lower the bell to the existing concrete slab. The bell will then be viewable by the public again, but will not be able to ring. 'The City of Oak Ridge is now working with a number of interested citizens and the Recreation and Parks Board on a campaign to replace the structure with a new permanent building,' according to Mark Watson, Oak Ridge City Manager. The work to dismantle the bell house will begin July 28 and should be completed within two weeks." // Upper image by Knoxville News Sentinel (Bob Fowler). Lower image by EWL 5Sept2014.
August 20, 2014 - Death of Edmund (Ed) Nephew (age 86). A physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Ed served several years on the Oak Ridge City Council. As mayor of Oak Ridge, he supported the International Friendship Bell & attended its casting in Kyoto on July 14, 1993 [qv]. Friends rang the bell on August 24, 2014, to celebrate his memory (even though the bell is now on the ground & rings imperfectly). Ed is survived by his wife of 58 years, Maria (Marese) Theresia Gobhardt Nephew, a native of Germany. Marese rang the bell in defiance of city policy on August 8, 1997 [qv].

November 18, 2014 - From article by Bob Fowler in Knoxville News Sentinel: "A special committee charged with selecting & helping pay for a new home for the city's International Friendship Bell is studying two concept plans created by Washington architect Ziad Demian. '[Both are] striking in their expansion of the site,' said Pat Postma, who with Alan Tatum serves as co-chair of the International Friendship Bell Advisory Committee... The architect was hired through a private donation from Shigeko Uppuluri & her son Ram Uppuluri... In one proposal [upper image], a massive cantilever suspends the bell & a pergola-style roof. The other proposal [lower image] uses a series of frames to create what Jon Hetrick, interim director of the city recreation & parks department, calls a 'pergola-like tunnel that supports the bell.' While efforts to select a new bell house are in their infancy, 'we're energetically on the way to developing some plans,' Postma said. Those proposals, she said, include 'much more extensive gardens' around the bell house. A final decision on a design isn't expected until early [2015], he said [sic]. It's been previously estimated that a new home for the bell would cost around $200,000."
April 23, 2015 - World Premiere of the new Documentary Film "Alvin Weinberg" by Keith McDaniel at American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE) in Oak Ridge. Major funding for this film was provided by TVA, DOE,UT-Battelle/ORNL, ORAU & Friends of ORNL.
August 13, 2015 - Public meeting in Oak Ridge High School Amphitheater to comment on the design of the new Peace Pavilion. ... "One Peace Pavilion concept has a $672,953 estimated cost, while the second is projected to cost $736,545, acording to Jon Hetrick, the city's director of recreation and parks... Both options feature open designs with a community gathering place 'that invites large groups to gather at the bell,' according to a city news release. The anticipated project comes as the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park is taking shape,... and city officials said the Peace Pavilion will add a 'significant & thought-provoking element' to the [national] park. A subcommittee headed by Pat Postma is putting together a fundraising campaign, Hetrick said. [The City of] Oak Ridge last year chipped in $50,000 and added another $25,000 in the city's latest budget. According to the news release, Oak Ridge's Sister City in Japan, Naka-Shi, 'has committed to make a significant contribution to the new pavilion.'"
November 10, 2015 - "[In Washington, DC] Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell & Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz sign the Memorandum of Agreement between the two [departments] defining the respective roles in creating & managing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The agreement included provisions for enhanced public access, management, interpretation & historic preservation. With the signing, the park officially was established." This was "celebrated" in Oak Ridge two days later.
September 21, 2017 - "Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new International Friendship Bell Peace Pavilion [sic] were held the afternoon of Thursday, September 21 [International Peace Day], at the Bell's new location in A.K. Bissell Park, just west of the Oak Ridge Civic Center. The Oak Valley Baptist Church Choir presented a music program relating to the friendship & peace theme of the event. Pat Postma and Alan Tatum, co-chairs of the International Friendship Bell Citizens Advisory Committee, also took part in the ceremonies... Major donors, including UT Battelle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Associated Universities & CNS - Y-12, participated in breaking ground for the new pavilion."
September 21, 2017 - "Following the groundbreaking, an International Day of Peace observance was held at the current Friendship Bell site in Bissell Park, just off Badger Avenue. The Oak Ridge Girl Scout Service Unit & the International Friendship Bell Citizens Advisory Committee hosted that portion of the event. The Oak Ridge High School Ensemble, directed by Amanda Ragan, The Sorta Singers, of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church & the Girl Scouts provided music. Oak Ridge Girl Scouts & members of the Oak Ridge Rocks!! Facebook page also 'Rocked the Bell' by placing rocks painted with a peace theme at the Bell site. They invited participants to take a rock to keep or relocate."
Future - Architect's drawing of the new International Friendship Bell Peace Pavilion [sic] at the Bell's new location in A.K. Bissell Park, just west of the Oak Ridge Civic Center. "Architect Ziad Demian, founding partner of demian\wilbur\architects in Washington, DC, designed the new Peace Pavilion & its surrounding plaza, with gardens & benches. He also attended the groundbreaking [on September 21, 2017]."

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