Fort Scott National Historic Site joined the nation on August 28th, in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by participating in the Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Bell Ringing.
At 3 pm, park staff, VIPs, visitors and a member of the Fort Scott Ministerial Alliance used antique hand-held school bells from the collection of VIP Sue Fischer to “Let Freedom Ring” from the southwest balcony of the park’s visitor center.
While the visitor center building served as the US Army frontier fort’s hospital until 1853, the school bells poignantly recalled the time, from 1872 to 1884, when it functioned as the Fort Scott Colored School. The institution’s most famous student was George Washington Carver, who left town after witnessing a brutal lynching of an African American not far from the school.