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Inside the UUA time capsule

Inside the UUA time capsule

Mementos from two earlier headquarters buildings.
By Christopher L. Walton
Summer 2014

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A farewell ceremony for the UUA’s headquarters at 25 Beacon Street in February featured some of the seventy-five items retrieved late last year from a time capsule placed in the building’s cornerstone on May 25, 1926. Inside were publications of the American Unitarian Association, including a Beacon Press catalog, several periodicals, various pamphlets and cards, and the first handbook for the Young People’s Religious Union, the denominational youth organization. It also included daily newspapers from May 24 and 25, 1926, which featured headlines about the dramatic midnight crash of a Boston-bound train, The Owl.

The most surprising find was a package tied with string at the bottom of the time capsule. It contained the engraved copper lid and contents of an even older time capsule that had been placed in the cornerstone of the original 25 Beacon Street building on December 2, 1884. It contained correspondence about the construction of that Unitarian headquarters building, reports and publications of a variety of Unitarian organizations, and tickets to the annual Unitarian Festival. See more time capsule photos at UU World’s Flickr collection:

This article appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of UU World (page 54). Photograph (above): UUA Director of Communications John Hurley examines tickets to the Unitarian Festival, held the evening of May 29, 1884, in Boston (© Sonja L. Cohen/UUA). See sidebar for links to related resources.

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