Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time Capsule Opened in Dallas After Nearly 100 Years

The Dallas News reports on a Time Capsule that was discovered in Houston during the demolition of a hospital. It had not seen the light of day since 1913, which meets quite nicely the criterion mentioned by FatWhiteMan last time we talked about time capsules.

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?

Please leave a comment.


  1. The Masons don't control Dallas (the Baptists do). The Masonic Order is more of a service organization/boys club (I don't believe they admit women but I may be wrong). Secret rites and rituals? Only if you don't know how to use Google. I think PBS even did a special on the Masons which showed their induction ceremonies. From what I saw nothing super secret about that. You probably know several Masons and don't realize it. The Shriner's are a group of Masons that operate medical centers for burn victims throughout the country. As to burying time capsules, I highly doubt it is a Masonic ritual, most likely it was the thing to do at the time.

    The problems in 1913 had nothing to do with drugs, they did have to do with Mexican rebels fighting government forces (and doing some raping an pillaging on the side - the government and the rebels). So about the only thing similar is that 90% of their guns came from the US (you know, Colt, Browning, Winchester). Only this time it really was 90% because all of the scary Eastern bloc guns that flow from Nicaragua and Honduras into Mexico (like the SKS, AK-47, etc) had not yet been invented! Come to think of it, it was probably closer to 100%. Oh yeah, and the regular people still had guns so they could actually do something about the raping and pillaging (from the government and the rebels).

  2. Reputo,

    The sister organization of the Masons is the Eastern Star.

  3. Reputo said:
    "Come to think of it, it was probably closer to 100%."

    I would rather think the 90% or maybe even a bit less is closer. Just like today, a lot of the rebels "acquired" their guns from the federales and at the time, the Mexican government was importing a lot of Mauser rifles from Germany, Spain and South America.

  4. "What are the Masons anyway? Aren't they some kind of secret organization with secret rites all their own?"

    Someone's been watching too much tele... ;)

    My grandfather was a Mason. So where's my shadowy organization to run, so I can control the media and become filthy rich? LOLz

  5. Thanks FatWhiteMan for the correction. I forgot completely about Mausers (since I don't own one). So what we are saying is that 90% is probably a lie no matter what time period we are in? Works for me.

  6. Maddy, It's well known that I base a lot of my ideas on things I've seen on TV. Isn't that what being a babt boomer is all about?

  7. Masons are very secretive at least the ones ive encountered