Neal McCoy kicks off celebration as Jacksonville unearths time capsule buried in 1972

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Published: May. 11, 2022 at 12:56 PM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - The city of Jacksonville is celebrating 150 years of being a city. The community gathered on Wednesday to open a time capsule buried in 1972 - 50 years after being filled with items.

The mayor of Jacksonville, Randy Gorham, welcomed country music singer Neal McCoy, an East Texas native, to lead the crowd through the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner to kick off the city’s 150th celebration.

Eight people appointed by the mayor dug up the time capsule with golden shovels.

Then, the capsule was opened and each item was carefully removed and examined.

“I was fortunate to hold the end of the capsule when we actually opened it and out came a book written in 1972 about the whole history of Jacksonville and the families who were here,” Dr. Deborah Burkett, former chairman, Cherokee County Historical Commission.

The capsule contained other items such as a letter to the citizens of Jacksonville dated 2022; a business card from the First Presbyterian Church; newspapers; a copy of Drumbeat, the high school’s newspaper; a brochure for the play, ‘Let’s Call it Jacksonville;’ various certificates and mementos; and a letter written by the mayor at the time to the current mayor and city councilmen.

“In 1972 the mayor said, “The problem is inflation and taxes,” and everyone roared at that because we get a chance to see the more things change, sometimes they stay the same,” Burkett said.

The time capsule was made out of a PVC pipe and managed to preserve the items for the last 50 years.

“I was surprised at all the things that were in the capsule and that they were so well preserved - no rust, very little fading,” board member of the Vanishing Texana Museum, Barbara Hugghins said.

In the coming weeks, the items will be cataloged and put on display at the Vanishing Texana Museum.

A ceremony to bury a new time capsule is expected on New Year’s Eve, and they’ll open that one in 50 years.

The time capsule was buried in 1972, during the city’s centennial celebration.

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