FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The city of Fresno stepped back in time Tuesday, as current and former city officials opened a time capsule from 30 years ago.
It was placed at city hall in a pillar in 1992, the year the building opened.
The time capsule was stuffed with about 250 items from the time period. Everything from photos to city documents, VHS tapes, California Raisins toys, and so much more.
But to even get the capsule open was no easy task.
To get to it, the pillar outside city hall had to be opened with a specialized tool, which hid the large metal capsule. That was unbolted from concrete at the base of the pillar before it was moved to the ceremony with help from the mayor and members of Fresno City Council.
“They had taken um, great steps to not only preserve what was inside but to make sure that if anyone did get inside, they could not steal it,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
Opening it was supposed to be the simple part. But that wasn’t exactly the case, as the mayor and city council members tugged at the top of the box, and eventually cracked not one, but two lids. However, once they got inside it was all worthwhile.
“To be able to see the VHS tapes that have been nonexistent for decades and to look at all the other memorabilia that was in there… very special for me and I know for everyone that was here,” said Mayor Dyer.
One of the people in attendance was former Mayor Karen Humphrey, who played a major role in the construction and opening of city hall. Back in 1992, she threw in a few items herself. Those included a multi-page letter and a city proclamation.
“Communities need to preserve their past, learn from their past, enjoy their past, and I think there were a lot of things to celebrate in Fresno 30 years ago and I’m hoping there will be lots of things to celebrate 30 years from now,” said Humphrey, who was Fresno’s mayor from 1989 to 1993.
And the trip from 1992 to 2022 won’t be the capsule’s only ride.
Officials Tuesday refilled it with some items from 2022, which included a COVID test, a pride flag, pictures, artifacts, and more. The plan is for that to be opened in 2052.
As for the items taken from the capsule Tuesday, Mayor Dyer told us some of those will be on display at city hall. Others will be handed over to the historical society for continued preservation.