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Johnson County buried a time capsule in 1951. Now it's finally been opened

Maurice Hubbard, master of ceremonies for the corner stone laying, on May 7, 1951. The copper box is on the right side of the table. Johnson County government officials sit on the temporary wooden stage.
Johnson County Museum
Maurice Hubbard, master of ceremonies for the corner stone laying, on May 7, 1951. The time capsule is on the right side of the table and Johnson County government officials sit on the temporary wooden stage.

“Inside the Box: A 1951 Time Capsule” runs Feb. 3-May 5 at the Johnson County Museum in Overland Park, Kansas. The exhibit explores the contents of a recently-discovered 1951 time capsule, and offers a glimpse into mid-century suburban life.

The Johnson County Museum will be opening a new exhibit called “Inside the Box: A 1951 Time Capsule," which runs from Feb. 3 - May 4, 2024.

The show explores the contents of a recently-discovered time capsule that was placed in the cornerstone of the old Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe in 1951 by local government officials.

Andrew Gustafson, the museum's curator of interpretation, says the box’s contents — including photographs, newspapers and letters — offer a glimpse into mid-century suburban life.

“One of the big themes is growth and change in the county and the post-war era,” Gustafson told KCUR’s Up To Date. “This was the era of white flight, redlining is happening in town in Kansas City and cities across the U.S., so people are moving into the county.”

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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