Hempstead time capsule ready to for content

Organizers invite "Letters to the Future"

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
The time capsule for the Hempstead County Bicentennial celebration is now a reality and ready for content, according to a press statement by the Hempstead County Bicentennial Committee yesterday.
In their statement, the Committee said “People and organizations are encouraged to write anything you would like people in 2068 to know. All of the letters will be microfilmed by the Arkansas State Archives and then placed in the time capsule. Every citizen of the county can turn in one sheet of paper. All letters must be mailed or turned in to the Chamber of Commerce by November 3.”
The statement further requests “Each community in the county is also being asked to donate some artifacts or items representing their communities that will also go in the time capsule. Contact your local mayor for more information.”
The time capsule, being conceived, built, and now collecting items, has been a nearly year long project of the Hempstead County Bicentennial Committee, with much of the direct oversight being handled by Chairman Richard Read, and much of the construction done in collaboration with TI staff and students at the University of Arkansas at Hope’s campus for welding and integrity testing.
Three UA Hope students, Brock Turner, Marcus Williamson, and Jacob Gunn, along with HVAC instructor Leo Ratliff, are credited with handling the original task of assembly of the structure, which is anticipated to soon be implanted at the new Hempstead Courthouse with intentions of being opened 50 years from now.
In previous public statements, Read himself touted the capsule as “an opportunity of a life time,” including the current “Letters to the Future” campaign. Read envisions that in 50 years today’s current youth can revisit where and who they were in 2018.
Next steps include the current process of collecting items and memorabilia, and then, subsequent argon gas sealing.
“The HVAC instructors will test the capsule integrity for leaks and prepare for loading the capsule with historical items,” Read said, “Then, the capsule will be cycled through a series of gas exchanges, resulting in the capsule having an internal environment of 100 percent Argon gas as a preservative. Same as used by national Archives, museums, etc, worldwide.”
Read also has noted that the entire project from idea to design features Hempstead County ideas, design, fabrication filling and placement.

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