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Littlefield Fountain at the University of Texas at Austin, with the historic University of Texas Tower in the distance. Littlefield Fountain is a monument by Italian-born sculptor Pompeo Coppini, located on the main campus of The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas. The fountain was built with money from a $250,000 trust established by Major George W. Littlefield as a memorial for University of Texas students and alumni who died in The Great War, now commonly known as World War I. It was unveiled in 1933. The memorial fountain is enscribed in Latin with BREVIS A NATURA NOBIS VITA DATA EST AT MEMORIA BENE REDDITAE VITAE SEMPITERNA. Translation - "A short life hath been given by Nature unto man; but the remembrance of a life laid down in a good cause endureth forever." The 307-foot tower, which rises above the university's Main Building, is one of the most-recognized structures on the sprawling campus and in Austin. It was designed by Paul Philippe Cret. At the top of the tower is a carillon of 56 bells, the largest in Texas. The tower is infamous nationally, however, as the site of one of the nation's earliest and worst massacres. On August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman, an architectural engineering student at the university, barricaded himself in the observation deck of the tower with a scoped Remington 700 deer rifle and various other weapons. In a 96-minute stand-off, Whitman killed 16 Austin residents and wounded many more. Police and armed citizens climbed up the tower to the observation deck and shot Whitman to death. Following the incident, the observation deck was closed until 1968 and closed again in 1974 following nine suicide jumps.
Credit line: The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
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