49 years ago, a time capsule was entombed at the state Capitol building. Today, it was opened

(Image: State Capitol)
(Image: State Capitol)
Updated: Dec. 27, 2018 at 3:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - History buffs, this one’s for you.

A time capsule sealed into the state Capitol building when it was dedicated in 1969 was opened Thursday — and its contents revealed.

The location of the time capsule (which weighs about 38 pounds) was nearly forgotten.

Once it was found — entombed in a wall at the Capitol building — it was quite the task to remove.

Workers had to carefully chip through three inches of concrete get it.

Time Capsule

#LIVE: Drum roll, please! The state archivist (and some lucky volunteers) are opening a time capsule that's been entombed at the Capitol building for 49 years. MORE: https://bit.ly/2CDYvCb #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Thursday, December 27, 2018

State Archivist Adam Jansen opened the time capsule, wearing gloves, a lab coat and a face mask.

The contents of the capsule were mostly in good condition — except for microfilm that appeared to have significantly deteriorated.

“The whole point of a time capsule is you are forwarding 50 years into the future. What do you want to communicate? What was important at that point in time?” he said.

“Every one of these items had a very specific purpose to tell the future. That is what this is. It’s two cubic feet of ‘this is what is relevant to us.’”

Here’s what else was in the time capsule:

  • State Constitution (facsimile of original and copy of present)
  • Photographs of state emblems
  • Photographs of the governor and his cabinet
  • Photographs of the members of the Legislature
  • Annual report for each state agency
  • Issue of “Guide to Government in Hawaii”
  • Issue of “Directory of State, County and Federal Officials”
  • City directories of all Counties
  • Souvenir medallion issued for statehood
  • Printed copy of Gov. Burns’ 1966 inaugural address
  • Program for groundbreaking and cornerstone ceremonies
  • Floor and site plans of the building
  • Copy of the Civic Center master plan
  • Photographs taken by Star-Bulletin photographer Warren Roll for the statehood edition of the paper 

“Given the state of the microfilm I think we are very pleased with the condition of the contents that we have here. It has held up very well,” said Jansen.

Over the next couple months each item will be restored in preparation to go on display ahead of a ceremony that will commemorate the state Capitol’s 50th anniversary.

A new time capsule is in the works. Jansen says the state wants your input on what to put inside of it. The capsule will be placed in the same spot as the old one sometime next year.

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