DALE, Okla. – History has come full circle at Dale Public Schools.
School officials unexpectedly discovered a time capsule two years ago, dating back more than 80 years to 1938.
Inside, officials found a first-hand, personal look at what life was like back generations ago.
“October 19th of 1938 is when it was placed,” said Dale Public Schools Superintendent Charles Dickinson. “And, so, every class from 1st grade to 12th grade, there’s a class list of all the students, there’s a list of all of the teachers.”
Those documents were found inside, along with old newspapers, an Oklahoma history textbook that was used at the time and a sealed letter from when the first school building was built.
“That’s what gets me about this is how big of a deal this was a huge deal,” Dickinson said back in 2017. “Building their school, they get the update of the gym in 1938 and they built on again.”
After making the find, students and faculty came up with a new idea on how to handle those old lists, newspapers and even a heartfelt letter.
“Get copies of it,” Dickinson said. “Put it back in that box, seal it back up and put it in in a bigger box. And, add – our building will be done next fall, add 2018 items to it.”
School officials made good on that promise.
“Today, we’re installing the 1938 time capsule back in our 2019 building,” Dickinson said. “The leadership class of Dale Public Schools, some really good kids, they put together a time capsule for 2019.”
Inside the new time capsule are items similar to that found in the original, like newspapers and class lists.
But, the school’s leadership class is also giving what others may find in the future an update to what life is like today.
“There’s student handbooks, class pictures and we tried to throw in some technology,” Dickinson said. “So, that’s what brings us to today.”
New items inside, the moment arrived to mark the new time capsule with the moment time stopped.
“May 17th, 2019,” Dickinson said.
Signed and sealed, capsule in hand, students carried the new capsule along with the old to a special slot made just for this priceless piece of history.
“Just like that,” Dickinson said, as he guided a student placing the box in its final resting place. “And, then, that one will sit right on top. That’s it.”
And, just like that, an undramatic end marked what will hopefully be a dramatic find many, many years from now.
The question today: who will find this time capsule, and when? No one knows.
When they do, it will be a mark left behind by students today, hopefully sparking the same joy and curiosity in the minds of students of the future.