Many people dream of being able to travel back in history to see what their families or their communities used to look like well before their time. Unfortunately, unless you know how to build a working time machine, that isn’t exactly possible.
Finding a time capsule, however, is the closest thing that you can do to catapult yourself into a different era. It’s fascinating to learn about the past—especially through firsthand accounts of people who’ve lived through it!
While renovating a home in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, a team of builders made an unexpected discovery: behind the walls and insulation of the old house, the crew unearthed a hidden time capsule… but they had no idea where their discovery would lead them.
In 2014, while renovating a seemingly unremarkable four-bedroom ranch from the 1950s in Phoenix, Arizona, a team of home builders made a startling discovery. There, behind the walls of the home, they found a real-life time capsule!
The contractor, John Murray, was stunned. “Wow, I just think I’m going to value things a little bit differently,” he said when thinking about the amazing discovery that his team made. “We’ve done hundreds of houses, [but] I’ve never seen anything like this,” he added.
After further inspection, the team discovered that the capsule was originally created and buried all the way back in 1966. Amazingly, its contents were perfectly preserved. It contained photographs and letters written by a 33-year-old woman named Betty Klug.
From the letters inside the time capsule, the team learned Betty intended to reveal it to her husband, Bruce, later on in their marriage. She hid it behind the wall on his birthday September 27, 1966 and never mentioned it to him.
Tragically, Betty was never able to show the time capsule to her husband because she was killed in a car accident in 1976. After Betty died, Bruce moved out of the house in 1980, leaving the time capsule undiscovered—that is, until the home renovators unearthed it.
With their astonishing discovery, the renovators decided they had only one option: to track down Bruce. After lots of hard work, they finally found him. He was 80 years old and living in Scottsdale, Arizona. They set up an appointment to meet with him and give him the time capsule that was rightfully his.
When the renovators met Betty’s husband, Bruce couldn’t believe what he was receiving. His hands were trembling as he opened the time capsule and read the note written by his late wife so long ago.
“The Vietnam War is still going on,” he read out loud in Betty’s familiar handwriting. “Racial situation very serious. Boys have long hair resulting from the Beatle craze,” some of the letters inside read, echoing her habit of closely following politics and pop culture.
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“I don’t know how I did it,” Bruce said in an interview about recovering from his wife’s death. “I was back to work within a week.” Nevertheless, it was clear that even after all of those years, Bruce was still deeply affected by the loss of his wife.
Bruce expressed total gratitude to the renovators for tracking him down and giving him the special delivery. He reminisced for a while and recalled that he and Betty had the best marriage and that they never argued.
To think that Bruce went more than half a century not knowing the time capsule existed is heartbreaking. Still, what a beautiful surprise for it to come back to him when he least expected it!
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