Time Capsules in America Centennial Safe

About the American Centennial safe opened by Congress as part of the bicentennial celebrations in 1976, history and contents.

TIME CAPSULES IN AMERICA

Centennial Safe

In January, 1976, a safe closed in 1879 was opened in Congress at the more or less official government time capsule opening for the Bicentennial. The safe, containing Civil War memorabilia, was the property of Mrs. Charles Deihm, widow of a New York publisher. The huge safe was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Visitors to the display signed red-leather-bound volumes, and these were placed inside. After the exposition, Mrs. Deihm traveled around the country gathering photographs and autographs of notable citizens. These were also placed in the safe, which was then sealed. The safe was stored beneath the Capitol steps until it was discovered by Capitol architect George White in 1971, at which time he had it transferred to safe storage. Among the items in the safe: a book on temperance, a book of the names of 800,000 government employees, a silver inkstand, and some pens of gold and pearl.

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