Think about how much the world changed from 1913 to 1993. In 1913, it was not uncommon for the family car to still be a horse and buggy, the radio was only a work in-progress, and Harry Truman had not yet turned 30.
Now imagine how much will change between 2013 and 2093. What will people then, on the eve of the 22nd Century, think when they look back at the early 21st Century?
Our descendants will be able to get a glimpse of the past when they open the Historic Truman Courthouse time capsule that was sealed during a special ceremony Saturday, May 10 at the recently renovated landmark on Independence Square.
Joining Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders for the historic occasion were Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, former Independence Mayor Don Reimel, Jackson County Historical Society Executive Director Steve Noll and Harry S. Truman impersonator Neil Johnson. The honor of closing the time capsule doors went to a pair of Mill Creek Elementary fourth graders, Kimberly Kuhlman and Haden Long, winners of a What did 2013 mean to me poetry contest that the county sponsored. (All the poems submitted for the contest were included inside the time capsule.)
"The sealing of this time capsule is a great historical event that sets up another event nearly 80 years from now," said County Executive Sanders.
The capsule is to be reopened September 7, 2093, exactly 80 years to the day Jackson County officially reopened the Historic Truman Courthouse following extensive multi-phased renovations -- and 160 years (also to the day) that Harry Truman, then the Jackson County's Presiding Judge, also rededicated the iconic building following its remodeling in 1933.
Mayor Weir likened the courthouse restoration to the renovation of Union Station and the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.
Former Mayor Reimel 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 time capsule keys to the Jackson County Historical Society, which will serve as the capsule's caretaker until it is opened in 2093. The organization's offices are located in the renovated courthouse.
The time capsule itself is a historic artifact from the courthouse -- a safe that construction crews uncovered during their renovations work on the building, which has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places since 1972.
Artists from the MyARTS center, a Jackson County facility also located in Independence, designed the outside of the time capsule. Placed in the time capsule are sketches showcasing their design process. The five artists producing the mural were Fort Osage High School seniors Caitlin Echols and Allie Culver, William Chrisman High School senior Katelyn Cogan, and two Truman High School students, senior Robin Prantl and sophomore Kamala Bayliff.
The Jackson County COMBAT program funds MyARTS, while the County Prosecutor's Office oversees the program, which provides at-risk youths a safe place to express and develop their artistic creativity.