After waiting 50 years to open time capsule, New Hampshire residents found ‘there was nothing in it’

DERRY, N.H. — Residents in the New Hampshire community of Derry waited 50 years to open an old time capsule, and they were definitely surprised by what they found inside.

When Cara Potter started her job as the library director five years ago, the town’s time capsule, sealed in 1969 sat safely on a shelf.

“Nobody touched it until last spring,” said Potter.

On the 50th anniversary, Potter opened it with help from town staff.

“I was considering running a library program around opening it, and so, I wanted to open it to make sure we could actually physically do that,” said Potter.

The combination for the safe was conveniently posted on the back of the capsule.

“It took us several tries to get it open, because we had the combination, and it’s an older safe,” said Potter. “So by the time we actually got it open, there were a number of staff people standing around watching. ”

To everyone’s surprise, it was empty!

“We were a little horrified to find that there was nothing in it,” said Potter.

Derry historians and town officials were notified. As it turned out, no one holds a list of what was originally put inside. The capsule was supposed to be displayed at the Old Home Day Celebration in Londonderry Aug. 14-18.

Officials said they don’t know who could’ve opened it and taken what was inside.

“It could have happened at any point,” said Potter. “They’ve even speculated that nothing actually got put in there in the first place. We just don’t know. Because it was 50 years ago, we were speculating that there could have been some Alan Shepard items in there, because that was around 50 years ago. It was just the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, so we just won’t know what happened to them.”

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