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Today in Georgia History
is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.

May 25

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Crypt of Civilization

May 25, 1940 - Atlanta
Here's something for Georgians to look forward to -- if you plan on being around 6,000 years from now. In 1936, a new phrase was born -- time capsule, thanks to Oglethorpe University president Thornwell Jacobs.

Motivated by the opening of the pyramids, Jacobs proposed collecting as much of modern society as possible and sealing it up for six millennia. The Crypt of Civilization at Oglethorpe resembles a cell in a pyramid, and holds just about everything, from an original Gone with the Wind script to a Budweiser bottle and a machine that will teach English in case the language has disappeared. The opening date of 8113 was chosen by adding the time passed from the first Egyptian calendar, 4241 BC to 1936 -- exactly 6,177 years -- and projecting that into the future.

Georgians will have to wait awhile to see the crypt again after it was sealed on May 25, 1940, Today in Georgia History.



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Unusual items in the time capsule include dental floss, a Donald Duck plastic toy and an audio recording of Popeye the Sailor.