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In November of 2015, the members of the American Legion Post 176 in Arlington, Washington discovered a time capsule within an artillery shell that had been on display. The time capsule included contents from 1943, such as newspapers, military magazines, and a trench lighter from World War 1. The members discovered the contents while rearranging their lobby. While the members were unsure how they obtained the artillery shell turned time capsule, there is evidence to suggest that they weren't the first ones to open it.


  • Members of American Legion Post 76 looking at the contents of the time capsule found within an artillery shell from 1943. (Kirk Boxleitner/Arlington Times)
  • American Legion Post 76 in Arlington, Washington. (waymarking.com

     Members of the American Legion Post 76 in Arlington, Washington discovered a time capsule within an artillery shell that was on display in their war memorial within their lounge. According to the Arlington Times, the time capsule was found in November of 2015 while members were attempting to mount the shell to the floor.  They removed the wooden replica of the shell head and discovered items that had been placed inside from 1943. According to the Arlington Times, the shell contained the front pages from local newspapers, a trench lighter from World War 1, an Indian head nickel, and several military magazines.

      According to Gizmodo, newspapers were enclosed in Ziploc bags, which weren’t invented until 1968. This indicates that someone else had opened the time capsule between the years 1968 and 2015 and placed the articles inside the bags to ensure that they would be preserved. Gizmodo also says that the members of American Post 76 also found a letter that said, “Thank you for the brandy,” indicating that those who had previously discovered the time capsule was able to enjoy the alcoholic beverage that had originally been placed there.

      According to The Arlington Times, the members of American Legion Post 76 don’t know how or when they ended up with the artillery shell turned time capsule. The shell did include a typed letter with the heading, “to the two survivors of the Last Man’s Club.” The letter included a list of names of 42 club members as well as their phone numbers and addresses. The Arlington Times said that the letter instructed that it should be delivered to the two sons of club member H. R. Secoy; either Clyde Frank Secoy or Harry Raymond Secoy. The members who found the time capsule attempted to find Secoy’s sons or any members of the Last Man’s Club who was still living, however they were unable to.

      According to The Arlington Times, the members of American Legion Post 76 were trying to decide whether or not to add their own content to the time capsule alongside the artifacts that they discovered. The Arlington Times quoted one of the members who discovered the time capsule saying that they thought about putting music and pictures on digital memory drives, but weren’t sure that future generations would be able to access them due to the progression of technology. Matt Novak of Gizmodo stated that if the Legion members were going to add digital content, that he recommended a USB drive with jpeg, mp3, and word document files.

 

Novak, Matt. 81-Year-Old Time Capsule Discovered Inside Artillery Shell (But It's Missing Some Brandy). Gizmodo. December 04, 2015. Accessed March 31, 2017. http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/81-year-old-time-capsule-discovered-inside-artillery-sh-1746176171.

Boxleitner, Kirk. Time Passages Found in Mysterious Time Capsule. The Arlington Times. November 27, 2015. Accessed March 31, 2017. http://www.arlingtontimes.com/news/time-passages-found-in-mysterious-time-capsule/.

"American Legion Post #76" Arlington Wa - Legion Posts and Branches on Waymarking.com. Waymarking.com. December 15, 2007. Accessed March 31, 2017. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2RQT_American_Legion_Post_76_Arlington_Wa.