Items saved from waterlogged 1969 time capsule viewed by public

The crowd attending the time capsule ceremony is given an opportunity to view the items that survived in the 1969 time capsule, including two hats.
By Bev Darr, Hannibal Courier-Post Reporter
Posted: May. 6, 2019 6:29 pm

Three tables of items were saved from Hannibal's 1969 sesquicentennial time capsule, which was waterlogged when it was unearthed for the May 4 ceremonies in Central Park. The ceremony was part of Hannibal's 2019 bicentennial festivities.
The items will be displayed in Hannibal's City Hall throughout 2019 and later at the Hannibal History Museum.

The 2019 bicentennial time capsule will be buried Oct. 26, 2019, to be opened in 2069.

Among the items that survived are the 1969 sesquicentennial edition of the Hannibal Courier-Post and additional newspapers, some mail, a few photographs and numerous coins.

The mail includes an envelope from the Board of Public Works to Jerry Sampson, 1409 Pleasant St.

Also saved is a baby dress and booties worn by Tanya Sue King, Hannibal’s sesquicentennial baby, who was born Feb. 8, 1969.

Although King, now a Branson resident, was not present for the time capsule ceremony on May 4, her brother, Charles King of Canton, was happy to return to his native Hannibal in her honor. He enjoyed his boyhood having adventures like Tom Sawyer. Their dad, Carl King Jr. was a member of the Hannibal Fire Department.

Some of the saved time capsule contents appeared to be in good condition, including audio tapes recorded by KHMO and KGRC Radio. They are still intact in plastic. If possible, they will eventually be aired on KHMO.

In the May 4 ceremonies, Mayor James Hark gave some 1969 background, including popular music, the moon landing, Woodstock and the Vietnam War.

Mary Lynne Richards of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department said the sealed time capsule vault was removed and opened May 1 in preparation for the May 4 event. It had been sealed on July 7, 1969, by Hannibal Mayor Fred Herrin, director of sesquicentennial events.

It was buried under four feet of dirt in Central Park. The two-ton capsule was 54 inches wide, 93 inches and 64 inches high, with an opening 14 inches wide and 24 inches long.

When it was opened, about 40 plastic bags were in the vault, and most of them waterlogged. The park staff pumped out about two feet of water. They retrieved the items and attempted to dry them, she said. Some could be salvaged, but some were unrecognizable.

Some items that survived had been wrapped in aluminum foil, then plastic, but many of the ruined items were only in plastic bags, Richards said.

Also participating in the ceremonies was Tony Bowman, who won the 1969 sesquicentennial logo contest.

Hannibal's official Tom and Becky, Michael Hark and Elaina Dyke, drew tickets for two people to unveil the three tables of items that were able to be displayed. Receiving this honor were Hannibalians Max Capp and 11-year-old Kelsey Lightle.

Later three tickets were drawn for people to help select items for the 2019 time capsule. They were Betty Pfaff, Angela Hammond and Dave Walkup.

While the crowd patiently waited in line to examine and/or photograph the items displayed, music was played by the Sesquicentennial Survivors band, composed of Betty and Martin Miller, Dale Hayes, George Roberson, Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, Wes Mitchell, Luke Bryant, Larry Kaylor and Barry Messer.

Hayes was wearing a hat from 1969, explaining it was like one of two hats on exhibit from the time capsule.

For more on the 1969 time capsule, see video and photo galleries.


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