For the next four or five (or six or seven) years, you will regulate
your life to the twice-hourly call of the Whistle, a steam
whistle which sounds five minutes before every hour from 6:55 a.m. to 5:55 p.m., and also on the half-hour on Tuesdays and
Thursdays. It also blows after a home game football victory. No, we don't know why Tuesday and Thursday are special.
The whistle has been stolen numerous times:
In the fall of 1981, the whistle was held for ransom. Some Institute
personnel housed near the whistle had complained so
much about its disruptive blasts that the whistle stopped blowing. The student body, outraged at the loss of the reliable timekeeper and the resulting confused schedules, kidnapped the whistle in protest and promised to return it only if it could continue in its traditional capacity.
Long negotiations and compromises resulted in the whistle's return to
duty with the duration of its sound reduced from ten
seconds to five seconds. Although the method was unorthodox, the students of Georgia Tech successfully preserved the
tradition of the whistle.
More recently, the whistle was stolen for President Clough's inauguration in 1995.
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