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This Day in Georgia History

May 25, 1940

Crypt of Civilization Sealed

For more on the Crypt of Civilization, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

At Oglethorpe University’s Hearst Hall in Atlanta, school president Thornwell Jacobs presided at the sealing of the Crypt of Civilization time capsule, joined by RCA president David Sarnoff and a host of state and local officials. Four years earlier, Jacobs had conceived the idea of a time capsule that would preserve a record of popular culture of the times as well as the knowledge accumulated over the past 6,000 years. For three years, a wide variety of documents, devices, and artifacts were collected. Over 640,000 pages from books were microfilmed for the vault, joined by photographs, motion pictures, and sound recordings. Other items ranged from a bottle of Coke to a typewriter to a pair of false teeth. If the earth and the foundation of Hearst Hall are still in existence, the time capsule is scheduled to be opened in the year 8113. Jacobs determined this date by calculating 6,177 years between the beginning of the Egyptian calendar to 1936 (when he got the idea), and then adding 6,177 years into the future.