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Hoodlock

Why Wait?

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On August 17, 1959 Thomas J. Deegan chairman of the world's fair committee, asked that the time capsule be opened ahead of time. About 4,975 years ahead of its proposed opening date. Deegan stated that the proposed world's fair might be as good an occasion as any to open the time-capsule.

Deegan didn't say whether it was intended to replace the capsule in the ground for the remainder of the scheduled five thousand years if it was opened in 1964.

He made the suggestion about the time-capsule on a CBS television program called Eye on New York. It was on this show that he credited Mayor Wagner with having conceived the idea of holding a fair in 1964.

Westinghouse was never mentioned in the story.

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I am not surprised that there was a suggestion to open the 1939 Time Capsule ahead of schedule. However, I am very glad that it did not happen. To open it early would be selfish. Those people who created and buried the capsule in September of 1938 really had a vision and a sense of hope. To pen it early would more than just disturb the capsule and its contents. It would be to break faith with that generation.

I have a question for you Hoodlock. Did you know that there is an enormous time capsule at Emory University in Atlanta? I think there is a web site, but I have read articles about it in various magazines including American Heritage which did a story on time capsules a few years ago. (The Westinghouse Company coined the name "time capsule," by the way.) Anyway, the one at Emory is a below ground level room about the size of a small gymnasium and contains household appliances, clothing, automobiles, tools, sporting equipment and the like. I think it was created as a part of an endowment gift--a building and a below ground time capsule. I think it was sealed over a decade or so ago but I am not certain when it is scheduled to be opened.

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The '39-'40 one captured the imagination and triggered a boomlet in the world of time capsules. In town squares across America there are still buried these remnants. They date back to the 19th Century practice of sealing momentos into the cornerstones of newly built churches and important public buildings. So actually as futuristic as it appeared it was one of the oldest concepts at the '39/'40 Fair.

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As a kid, the P's told me about the goodies buried behind cornerstones. From then on, I always looked for the stone, and wondered what was in there, wishing someone would open one up. Good memories!

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Jim, are you referring to the "Crypt Of Civilization" that was done at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta in 1935? According to the Knute Berger time capsule article on the site, the planned date for opening exceeds even the NYWF time capsules, with a date of AD 8113.

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When the amphitheater aquacade was demolished a few years ago, where its cornerstone was, there was a black box found behind it. I don't know what was in it...does anyone know?

Also, where are the wall reliefs (art deco) that were removed meticously, stored?

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Eric,

I suspect you are correct. Thank you!! I want to learn some more about this. You have given me some direction as to where to learn more. Thank you again.

Jim

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Here's a little time capsule humor:

<a href="http://www.theonion.com/onion3537/time_capsule.html" target="_blank">http://www.theonion.com/onion3537/time_capsule.html</a>

Perhaps a bit too close to the truth then the high-minded folks at Westinghouse and Oglethorpe U. would have liked to believe.

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You can tell this story is a farce (I know, I know, everything on the site is) because they said they hoped to find some Disney stock. As a stockholder I can sure offer them mine at the right price, as it's been going down and down and down. Cute story, though - perhaps they should try eBay!!

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