JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The 1915 time capsule from the Missouri State Capitol cornerstone was extracted today to a small audience of press by Office of Administration (OA) staff.
OA extracted and transported the capsule to the Department of Health, where it will be stored before opening and examination by archivists from the Secretary of State’s Office. Storage at the Department of Health ensures a controlled environment for the capsule, which may or may not have been compromised by water and was sealed during the first World War – before the 1918 influenza outbreak and the creation of most vaccines.
The capsule, which is copper and about the size of a military footlocker, was soldered closed. One corner was dented, by not from OA handling.
The capsule was located in a Budget & Planning office in the southeast corner of the Capitol. The office had been completely cleared out for access to the time capsule, which was under dry wall, sheet rock, tile, and the Capitol’s famous stone from the cornerstone itself.
The contents of the capsule may go on display in the Capitol’s museum. Records indicate the capsule includes at least the newspapers of the day among other items.
OA and the Governor’s Office are currently leading a campaign to fill a new capsule to be opened at the Capitol’s bicentennial. You can submit your ideas by using #motimecapsule or by going to mo.gov/timecapsule.
The new capsule, which will not be placed in the same spot, will be revealed on Friday, July 3 at the celebration to commemorate the centennial of the laying of the Capitol’s cornerstone to take place which is held in conjunction with the downtown Salute to America festivities. OA is still working to identify a new location to place the 2015 capsule, but experts recommend identifying a space somewhere closer to the interior of the building that is not as susceptible to damage from temperature or natural elements.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.