Centennial Time Capsule closes for another 25 years

Centennial Time Capsule closes for another 25 years

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Secretary Wyman has fun with some of the new Capsule Keepers in front of the Centennial Time Capsule in the Capitol. (Photos courtesy of Benjamin Helle)

Washington‘s Centennial Time Capsule was sealed for the next 25 years during a ceremony at the State Capitol Sunday afternoon. Letters and artifacts collected over the last year were added to the capsule.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman and members of the Keepers of the Capsule Board spoke to an audience of about 80 people.

“Another 25 years of Washington history is being added to the Time Capsule so that Washingtonians in the future can someday learn what mattered to us and how we lived,” Wyman told the gathering. “The fact that this ceremony takes place on George Washington‘s birthday only adds to this event. On the day when Americans celebrate the birthday of the father of our country, we also mark this day of dedication to the future of our great state.”

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Secretary Wyman stands next to the Centennial Time Capsule with capsule organizer Knute Berger (left) and members of the 1989 Capsule Keepers. 

The mini capsule placed inside the safe Sunday is the second of 16 that will be used to store artifacts of Washington state history. The first capsule was placed inside 25 years ago. The Centennial Time Capsule is a 3,000-pound green safe that holds all of the stainless steel mini time capsules.

All of the filled capsules are slated to be opened in November 2389, in honor of the state’s 500th birthday.

The contents of this time capsule include:

  • Hundreds of “Messages to the Future” from citizens.
  • Music recordings from iconic Washington bands.
  • Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners memorabilia.
  • New stories capturing the events, people and culture of Washington from the past 25 years.
  • An Amazon Kindle loaded with more than 100 titles from Washington authors or about Washington state. Book titles include The Good Rain by Tim Egan, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.
  • An original glass art piece by Ginny Ruffner and a glass artifact from Dale Chihuly.

The project is guided by a group called the “Keepers of the Capsule.” Every 25 years, hundreds of Washington children are recruited as Keepers. Keepers ensure the continuity of the capsules, watch over the heritage of the State of Washington, and then pass these responsibilities on to a new generation of Keepers of the Capsule.

The Secretary of State’s role with the Time Capsule is to keep the list of names and contacts of all the Capsule Keepers and update it as needed.

To learn more about the Keepers of the Capsule and the Washington Centennial Time Capsule Project, visit the Capsule Keepers’ webpage here or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WACapsuleKeepers.

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