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100-Year Time Capsule Opened At Utah State Capitol

Last week, state officials removed a time capsule that was placed in the cornerstone of the Utah State Capitol more than 100 years ago. On Monday they opened it.

Governor Gary Herbert had to use power tools to open the copper box, which had been resting beneath a pillar at the capitol building since 1914. Some of the items the box contained include:

  • Photographs of the building’s construction
  • A program from the laying of the cornerstone ceremony, dated April 4, 1914
  • Coins, including a half dollar dated 1892, a nickel from 1898, a quarter from 1909, a penny with an unreadable date, and a silver dollar from 1896—the year Utah became a state
  • Several newspapers from around the state, including issues of the Deseret Evening News, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Provo Post, the Journal, and more
  • A 2-cent postage stamp
  • A rail ticket  
  • LDS History books
  • What is believed to be the business cards of contractors who worked on the construction of the building

The items will be displayed in the Capitol rotunda through the week.
Gov. Herbert has suggested filling a new time capsule with items from this day and age. He told reporters one item he’d like to put inside.

“I would think something about our electronic age,” he said. “Maybe an iPhone or an iPad. Maybe with a message, maybe a charger they could plug in so they could get the message and maybe some photos that we could have.”

2016 marks 100 years since the building was completed and dedicated as the Utah State Capitol. The Capitol Preservation Board is hosting tours, performances and other events at the Capitol Building this week, culminating in a formal gala that is free and open to the public on Saturday night.

Allyson Gamble is the Executive Director of the Capitol Preservation Board. She invites the public to visit the state house during its centennial celebration week.

“We are open from 8 in the morning until 8 at night,” Gamble says. “We have self-guided tours, we have special exhibitions throughout the capitol that have artifacts and other wonderful elements, and we want the people of Utah to come see the people’s house.”

For event information, click here

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