HISTORY OF THE CRYPT
THORNWELL JACOBS: THE FATHER OF THE MODERN TIME CAPSULE
In 1935, while engaged in research on ancient historical materials in connection with the writing of one of his books, Dr. Thornwell. Jacobs, then President of Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia, was struck by the lack of accurate information regarding ancient civilizations. Determined to make an effort to preserve in a scientific manner every salient feature of present day civilization for the people of the future, Dr. Jacobs devised the plans for the Crypt of Civilization.
Because the first known date in recorded history, 4241 B.C., was 6177 years previous, Jacobs suggested that the Crypt be sealed until 6177 years have passed. The Crypt of Civilization was sealed on the 28th day of May, 1940, with instructions that it is not to be opened until the 28th day of May, 8113 A.D.
The Crypt, located under Phoebe Hearst Hall, is a room 20 feet long, 10 feet high and 10 feet wide (60 palms long, 30 palms wide and 30 palms high). The Crypt, resting on a bed rock with 2 feet of stone above it, is lined with porcelain enamel plates embedded in pitch. It is sealed with a great stainless steel door, welded in place.