As promised, the John F. Kennedy Peace Capsule was unearthed this week. The capsule was filled with treasures and buried back in 1965; it wasn’t supposed to be opened until 2065, a full hundred years after it was buried. Local officials decided to cut that time in half, though, digging the time capsule up a full 50 years ahead of schedule. As it turns out, that was probably the best decision they could have made.
The time capsule was dug up in Bay City, Michigan, on September 24 and opened by officials from the Bay County Historical Museum. The capsule had been created by Defoe Shipbuilding Company back in ’65, and was then buried by Bay City’s Labor Council as part of the region’s Centennial Celebration.
It wasn’t stated at the time what exactly was being put in it — that would ruin the surprise, of course. Unfortunately, the time capsule wasn’t as waterproof as it needed to be, and many of the items within were damaged as a result, some likely beyond any hope of repair. MLive, a local news agency, reports that water poured out of the capsule when it was cracked open.
The water within reportedly filled the capsule about half way full; the paper items inside, including a letter one local family was hoping to read, were severely damaged. There is some hope, however, as some of the items within were sealed in (hopefully) watertight packaging, which may have preserved the items. Some other objects, including a pair of boots, survived. Specialists will sort through and clean up the items; whatever remains will be showcased at the aforementioned museum.