‘We were a little horrified’: New Hampshire community’s time capsule reveal doesn’t go as planned

DERRY, N.H. – Officials in a New Hampshire community waited decades to open an old time capsule.

What did they find inside?


Absolutely nothing.

The disappointing discovery happened in Derry, New Hampshire. The time capsule was sealed in 1969 and sat safely on a shelf for years.

“Nobody touched it until last spring,” said Cara Potter, director of the Derry Library.

On the 50th anniversary, Potter decided to open the time capsule with the help of 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,” she said.

The combination to the safe was posted on the back of the capsule. Still, Potter said it took several tries to get it open. That drew a small crowd of staff members.

Then, the big reveal—a resounding disappointment.

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

Potter notified Derry historians and town officials. As it turns out, no one had a list of what was originally placed inside.

The capsule was supposed to be part of a celebration last weekend. Now the town is trying to figure out if someone opened the safe and took everything inside.

“It could have happened at any point,” Potter said. “They’ve even speculated that nothing actually got put in there in the first place. We just don’t know.”

Potter added that she and others had a few theories about what they’d find inside.

“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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