Capsule History

Americans have been launching time capsules into the future for over a century now, and today we’re creating more than ever. Why is it that so few reach their destination? And that so many merely bore their recipients?

Ever since it was dedicated in 1933, Cincinnati’s Union Terminal has been one of the city’s most stirring sights. It’s a museum center now, but when I was growing up in the 1950s, train trips with my parents began and ended in that vast half-dome rotunda. There’s one thing about being a kid, and a short one at that: You get to know what’s close to the ground. So it was that while most eyes were drawn up to the terminal’s majestic murals, I spotted a small plaque to the right of the entrance, just above the pavement.

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Only One Life, But Three Hangings

In September a statue of Nathan Hale, martyr-patriot of the Revolution, is to be unveiled near the main entrance to the CIA headquarters in Washington. A similar statue has stood for some years next to the headquarters of the FBI, and there are other copies of it in New London and Bristol, Connecticut, and at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Hale was hanged by the British in New York in 1776 while on a behind-the-lines espionage mission for General Washington.Read more »