Storm Lake 50-Year Time Capsule Opening Later This Month

Dig through the last 50 years when Storm Lake opens the community time capsule on Thursday, July 13th. The event will take place at the Storm Lake Public Library at 5:30 pm.

The time capsule was placed underground back in 1973, during the city’s Centennial. Storm Lake is celebrating its Sesquicentennial this year. The event is open to the public and treats will be served from the Storm Lake Bakery.

Two time capsules were buried underground 50 years ago, with one to be opened this year and the other to be opened on Independence Day in 2073. The time capsule being opened this year is filled with commemorative and cultural surprises, while the 100-year time capsule is being referred to as “The Million Dollar Time Capsule.”

Again, Thursday, July 13th at 5:30 pm, will be the unveiling of the first time capsule from 1973 at the Storm Lake Public Library.

Historical Background (provided by Storm Lake Proud)

The time capsule was placed in 1973, at the time of Storm Lake’s Centennial. The city is celebrating its Sesquicentennial this year. Everyone is welcome to attend the opening event. Treats from Storm Lake Bakery will be provided.

Two time capsules were buried below the floor of the library 50 years ago – the one to be opened this season filled with commemorative and cultural surprises under the supervision of the historical society of the time and another that will remain buried to be opened on the Fourth of July in 2073.

The copper capsules were donated by Jack Spooner and Catherine Spooner Christian, in honor of the late Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Spooner. Jack Kooker and Paul DeVolder were responsible for the project and warned the generations of the future to “bring a good can opener,” as the capsules were solidly soldered shut in hopes of keeping precious contents safe from the elements.

The 100-year capsule, which will remain for a future generation to rediscover, was nicknamed “The Million Dollar Time Capsule,” featuring 48 $100 certificates of deposit that were provided by donors, figuring that 100 years of compound interest might grow the investment to nearly $1.5 million. Donors included a Girl Scout troop and Little League baseball boys. The funds are to be cashed out in 2073 to be donated to local service organizations of the donors’ choosing, including the university, hospital, library, historical society, and churches.

The message placed with the capsules read:

“In our first hundred years, amidst flower-studded yards and tree-lined streets, our city beautiful, in building and rebuilding, grew old with time but young with effort. She is more amenable than most and will become what her friends demand of her if these friends are numerous and dedicated enough.

“In our proud past, from the time of the deepened ruts of ox carts to the smooth swerving automobiles, to modes of transportation we can only imagine a hundred years from today, people demonstrate love for the city in countless ways.”

“Here is the manifestation of that affection. To add to the continuing success of Storm Lake, we place herein the proof of our confidence…”

Fifty Years Ago…

In 1973, gas was averaging 35 cents, as the nation was about to plunge into an oil crisis. Skylab was launched that July. Richard Nixon’s presidential days were numbered as the Watergate investigation progressed. The Vietnam War ended. Secretariat won the Triple Crown. The Supreme Court made its Roe v. Wade decision. The jet ski was invented.

Gypsy dresses, bell bottoms, earth shoes, tie-dye, and leisure suits were the height of fashion. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon on the Old Oak Tree” was the #1 song, “Kojak” was a TV hit while the kids were singing along to “School House Rock.” “The Exorcist” and “American Graffiti” were entertaining crowds at the theaters.

Governor Robert Ray was leading the Centennial parade in Storm Lake on the 4th of July with a fireworks show to follow – the precursor to the Star Spangled Spectacular.

Letter for 2073 (100-Year Time Capsule)

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