To prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Hawaii State Capitol in March 2019, a task force and state archivist dug up a piece of history on Wednesday, Dec. 12. 

“Through our research we found there was a time capsule in the Capitol,” said Sen. Brian Taniguchi, the State Capitol 50th Anniversary chairman. “We didn’t know where it really was, and upon doing more research, we found out it was in one of the corners of the Capitol behind a plaque.”

The group spent nearly three hours carefully drilling a hole into the building.

“It was the process of very, very slowly removing layer after layer of concrete because no directions were left, no instructions were left behind, it wasn’t on the [Capitol building] plans, and there was no idea of how they had entombed the time capsule so we wanted to be very very careful,” said State Archivist Adam Jansen. 

But it wasn’t an easy task finding the 20-pound copper box.

“Tthere were moments of doubt, once they hit three inches we were seriously wondering if we were drilling in the right place, because we didn’t know if it was going to be a small capsule,” Jansen explained.

As for what’s inside?

“A lot of historical governmental records to give us a view of what it was like as we transitioned into a state,” Jansen said. 

“It maintained extremely well, which is why we have high expectations the contents will be in very good shape,” he said. 

You won’t be able to see the items until the anniversary on March 15, 2019. 

In the meantime, there’s talks of putting a new time capsule together and placing it in the hole left by the old capsule.