Central Florida time capsule buried in 1995 gets opened 25 years later—here were its predictions for 2020

Orange County Courthouse capsule in 1995 Courtesy: Orlando Sentinel

A time capsule buried at an Orange County Courthouse in 1995 was opened yesterday, Feb 2— 25 years later, and in it came some predictions for 2020…

25 years ago, construction on the Orange County Courthouse was completed: fast forward to today, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings cracked open the quarter decade-old time capsule along with other city officials by his side.

Before we reveal the contents of the time capsule, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what was happening in 1995.

-O.J. Simpson found not guilty on murder charges 

-Bill Clinton was president of the United States

-Lawton Chiles was governor of Florida 

-Florida’s average gas price per gallon was $1.18

At the unveiling ceremony, Mayor Jerry Demings reminded guests that at the time of the time capsule’s burial, Disney World had three parks and opened Blizzard Beach, Universal Studios only had one Orlando park, and the Orlando Magic made the NBA Finals. Mayor Demings was a captain in the Orlando police department system at the time.

“Time has flown by so quickly,” Demings said.

The time capsule contained much of what one would expect or would know to have from personal experience if they had ever taken part in one: letters from city and state leaders, photos, and predictions. Photos and letters in the time capsule documented a “Day in the Life” in Orange County.

The first thing Demings pulled out was a page of photos donated to the capsule from Lockhart Middle School, a local Orange County public school.

After that came a note from a guest in attendance, then Orange County Chairman Linda Chapin. Her note highlighted some important predictions for 2020, such as Orlando being a hub for international commerce and film production and provide mass transit throughout the city. 

In her note, she also wrote that she’d hope “Central Florida would place a high priority on family values … and personal integrity.”

Among other items in the time capsule were also newspapers, a letter from governor Lawton Chiles, and a commemorative Orange County Sheriff’s Office badge, according to Pamela Schwartz, chief curator at the Orange County Regional History Center.

“It’s always exciting to open a time capsule, especially for those who participated in its placement because it’s full of memories and nostalgia,” said Schwartz. “The capsule is a glimpse into the past, and the items inside show what people living locally back then felt was noteworthy enough to preserve,”

Time capsules can be a neat project to put together with some friends and if you’re patient enough, get better and better the longer you wait. Depending on what side of the time capsule you’re on, they can serve as a reminder of the past or hope for the future. 

Grab a group of friends and visit a beach or park and put some photos, letters, toys, or a dollar bill in a small box and wait at least 10 years before you open it. The longer, the better. Just don’t forget where you buried it. 

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