The Big Surprise in Hannibal’s 1969 Time Capsule
An unwanted intruder invaded the two-ton concrete vault buried in Central Park 50 years ago. Mary Lynne Richards of Hannibal Parks and Recreation says when employees opened the vault May 1st, they discovered about two feet of water inside. Many of the approximately 40 plastic bags in the vault were waterlogged. Some historical items were salvaged, but others were unrecognizable.
The salvaged contents were unveiled at a ceremony in Central Park Saturday morning. A crowd gathered at three tables to view items including hats, jewelry, maps, advertisements, newspapers, utility bills, coins, pop bottles, records, and reel-to-reel tapes. Some of the tapes are said to contain recorded broadcasts of KHMO radio in 1969.
Hannibal Mayor James Hark recalled some of the highlights of the year 1969: Apollo 11 landed on the moon, the Vietnam War was ongoing, and musical hits included Proud Mary, Sweet Caroline, and A Boy Named Sue. Hannibal also celebrated its 150th birthday that year. Tony Bowman, who designed Hannibal's Sesquicentennial logo in 1969, was on hand to emcee Saturday's event.
Folks who missed the unveiling ceremony can view the items at Hannibal City Hall, where they will be displayed for the remainder of 2019.
As part of Hannibal's Bicentennial Celebration in 2019, a new time capsule featuring contemporary items will be buried in October, to be opened in 2069.