Gov. Nathan Deal opens 1960s time capsule to find … meh

The state is preparing to tear down its old archives on Capitol Avenue, but on Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal got a peek at what officials in the 1960s put into the “White Ice Cube’s” time capsule.

Turns out not much that would excite a state historian.

Deal opened the box and read the list of what was inside: directories of Secretary of State’s office and the archives office, the October 1964 publication of the Society of American Archivists, a history of the department of archives, a roster of the directors of the department of archives, Kodak, 35 mm color slides of the construction of the building, a tabulation of the bid to build the facility, photos of the dedication ceremony and lots of politicians, a copy of a speech by Gov. Ernest Vandiver, a photograph of the president of the Dahlonega chamber of commerce, and articles clipped from Atlanta and Athens newspapers

“I am sure one of us is in here somewhere,” Deal joked, digging through the box.

The pages that listed the contents stuck together. The governor struggled at times to separate the pages without tearing them. It was a delicate operation.

“I’m sure the archivists would have a heart attack if they saw me pulling apart these pages,” Deal said.

Steve Stancil, executive director of the Georgia Building Authority, brought the box to the Capitol Tuesday for an authority meeting with Deal. It had been soldered shut, but a staffer had cut it open beforehand and then duct-taped it shut so the governor could perform a ceremonial opening and review the contents.

The old archives building is being torn down over the Christmas holiday season and will be replaced — if lawmakers approve the funding - by a new state courts building.

Once Deal finished reading the laundry list of the time capsule’s contents, he turned to Stancil and said, “I am going to turn this back over to Steve because I don’t know what I am going to do with it. I don’t need it.”

Stancil said he plans to find someplace to display the time capsule for a while before placing it back at the site of the new building, along with a new time capsule. He said his office will work with Deal’s to figure out what to put into the 21st time capsule.

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