The discovery of centuries-old time capsules has been a surprising result of the growing movement to dismantle Confederate statues across the country, as cities grapple with the history behind saluting Civil War soldiers. As the debate continues between groups who want to continue to honor Confederate soldiers or remove the era's pro-slavery war memorials, time capsules have been popping up through the rubble of these monuments. The latest time capsule, buried in the base of a statue nicknamed "Johnny Reb" was opened Tuesday in Orlando, Florida after 106 years.
Fox 35 Orlando reports that the time capsule contained a February 9, 1911 newspaper, remnants of a flag, pins and a few Confederate dollars, all of which will be preserved in a city vault. And apparently, organizers opened the capsule just in time. Richard Forbes, a historic preservationist who helped unseal the three-pound metal box says, "We weren't quite sure there would be anything left, judging from the condition of the piece left on top of the box." He says, "We were concerned that it would all have been dust." Luckily, several items were still intact. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says the statue will be relocated from its 100 year old post in Lake Eola Park to the city's historic Greenwood Cemetery, where 37 Confederate veterans are buried. Photo: Cox Media Group 2017
Dyer says the cost of the relocation project will be about $120,000. City officials say once the statue is resurrected in the cemetery, they will work with historians on the statue's inscription which will put the monument "in proper historical perspective."