NEW YORK — A time capsule from the 1820s that was opened in a highly-anticipated ceremony at the West Point US military academy was found to contain coins and a medal.
The lead box was searched in front of a room of cadets on Monday. The audience was disheartened when the box was opened and it appeared empty.
But now, officials say the box actually held a medal and five coins, minted in years ranging from 1795 to 1828.
In a statement, the academy said they “were embedded” in the box’s “matrix”.
The coins were minted with values ranging from one cent up to one dollar.
The box also contained a medal that celebrates the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. The canal was built in eight years and connected the Hudson River in New York to the Great Lakes.
“Six coins and a medal were embedded within the matrix, dating from 1795 to 1828,” West Point said on Wednesday.
“The historical preservation process will continue, and updates will be provided when new information is available,” it added.
At Monday’s ceremony, young troops watched as some of West Point’s top brass took the stage to celebrate the exciting moment.
In front of them, centre stage, was the grey box — 12in by 12in by 13in (30cm by 30cm by 33cm) — and two school employees, standing by with purple rubber gloves and white masks, prepared to unveil its contents.
The box had been found a few months earlier, during the restoration of a bronze statue of Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a celebrated war hero and statesman.
Underneath the marble face of the monument the box was discovered, apparently placed there during the completion of the statute in 1829. — BBC