INDEPENDENCE, MO – What will Jackson County look like in the year 2093? It’s hard to tell. However, our descendants will have a picture perfect view of the past, courtesy of the Historic Truman Courthouse time capsule.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, with the help of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, former Mayor Don Reimal, Jackson County Historical Society Executive Director Steve Noll, Harry S. Truman impersonator Neil Johnson and students from Mill Creek Elementary School, sealed the capsule Saturday morning during a ceremony at the Truman Courthouse on the square in Independence.
Locked inside were treasures from what will eventually be the past, such as historical artifacts. Included were copies of letters from President Harry Truman to Congressman Ike Skelton and his father. The late Congressman’s last public appearance was at the courthouse rededication last September.
Jackson County residents of the future will also find memorabilia from local sports teams, a donated iPad and a Twinkie. The items are significant to 2013, which is when the courthouse was rededicated after an extensive renovation.
County Executive Sanders said the ceremony was symbolic and signaled the end of the Truman Courthouse renovation. “The sealing of this time capsule is a great historical event that sets up another event nearly 80 years from now,” he said. The County Executive predicted the Historic Truman Courthouse will still be serving the community when the capsule is opened in 2093.
Independence Mayor Weir likened the courthouse restoration to the renovation of Union Station and the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.
Former Mayor Reimal encouraged the crowd to take notes of what they did on the day the capsule was sealed and then pass those notes along to their children. “This is where history has a life,” he said.
County Executive Sanders handed over the keys to the Jackson County Historical Society, which will serve as caretaker for the time capsule until it is opened on September 7, 2093. The group’s offices are located in the renovated courthouse.
The time capsule is recycled. It is a safe crews uncovered during the renovation of the courthouse. The design and artwork for the capsule was completed by five students who participate in the MyARTS (Metropolitan Youth Arts & Technology for Students) program. The Jackson County COMBAT program funds MyARTS. The County Prosecutor’s Office oversees the program, which provides at-risk youths a safe place to express and develop their artistic creativity.