Hello, 1968: YMCA Discovers Time Capsule

Lisa Fielding
October 10, 2018 - 5:25 pm

Kathy Fielding


(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Staff members at the North Suburban YMCA in Northbrook got quite the surprise Monday when digging a hole near the entrance of the building.

"There is a cornerstone right near the entrance," explained Howard Schultz, President and CEO.

"We knew when they built the building that they put a time capsule behind the stone but we were under the impression that it had already been removed 25 years ago," he said.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, staff planned on putting a new time capsule there. Inside, they got quite the surprise.

"We had a mason come out to remove the cornerstone and low and behold, the original time capsule was behind there," Schultz said, laughing. "It just fell out."

Inside were old photos, old rosters, toys from 1968 and much more.

"It was sealed in a copper box, and they had to cut it to get open and all these stuff from 1968 fell out. It was very cool.”

Schultz said all the items were all laminated and in great condition.

The contents of the 1968 time capsule (courtesy: NSYMCA)

"What we found was door numbers from the original buildings, there was an Illinois sesquicentennial coin for 150 years, there were flyers and pictures, a beautiful picture of the rendering of the Y, lots of pictures of people, flyers of clubs that where there, lots of documents, a little toy mouse, newspaper articles that were laminated, patches from adventure guides and Indian princesses, really beautiful stuff."

Schultz said the time capsule was dated the day after Robert Kennedy's funeral.

"Obviously that wasn't a happy time in 1968 but they made the most of it and here we are 50 years later,” he said.

Thursday marks the NSYMCA's 50th birthday.

"We're going to seal a new time capsule,” Schultz said. “We're going to put some of the old 1968 items back in along with a lot of things from 2018. We'll put in a newspaper of course, toys like slime, Pokemon cards, a Fidgetspinner and a video game and player so they can actually play it in 50 years."

The corner stone, awaiting new artifacts (courtesy: NSYMCA)

Artifacts from that capsule will be shared at the Y's Annual Meeting, which will also include installation of new board members and other commemorations connected to the Y's 50th Anniversary.

"The Y is also asking the public to share messages to be put in the new capsule. People should submit 50 words for 50 years that people will read in the future,” Schultz said.

The new capsule will be opened in 2068.

"I hope we'll be all around to wish the Y a happy 100th birthday," the CEO said. "It's so nice that the past is speaking to us now and we can also talk to the future."