The crowd that gathered around the front of the Old Parkland Hospital on Thursday could have been re-enacting a scene from almost a century ago.
Back in 1913, Dallas public officials and business leaders were on hand for the laying of the cornerstone of the new public hospital. Inside they placed a copper box filled with documents.
On Thursday, the battered time capsule was removed from the landmark's foundation for the first time. Inside were the crumbling remains of some letters and two mostly intact newspapers.
The holding company responsible for the demolition and construction project didn't know if anything was buried there, but they drilled a hole in the cornerstone to look. The copper box was discovered.
Historically, cornerstones were put in place with Masonic ceremonies. Sam P. Cochran, an early Dallas business tycoon who was one of the founders of the Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral and the Scottish Rite Hospital, conducted those proceedings at Parkland in March 1913.
On Thursday, Leonard Harvey, a Mason who is past grand master of the Grand Lodge of Texas, pulled the small metal box out of a hole bored in the side of the cornerstone.
Does that mean the Masons were involved in this particular hospital, or that they run Dallas the way the Mormons run Salt Lake City? What are the Masons anyway? Aren't they some kind of secret organization with secret rites all their own? Is burying time capsules one of them?
Here's the fascinating part: "The big news on the front page of the March 18, 1913, Morning News was about President Woodrow Wilson and a rebel attack on the Mexican town of Nuevo Laredo."
I don't suppose that could have anything to do with the present-day problems along the Mexican border? It is interesting though that those problems are not limited to our own day and age.
What's your opinion? Is part of the fun in burying a 100-year-or-more time capsule that we sometimes forget about it and have to discover it by accident?
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