BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two time capsules are discovered during the restoration of Baltimore’s Washington Monument. They were finally opened Tuesday morning.

Ron Matz has more on the unveiling of history in Baltimore.

The Washington Monument is celebrating 200 years. During its restoration, workers found the 1815 cornerstone.

“It shows how important the monument is to the city and the nation. It’s the first symbol of American democracy, the first major monument celebrating American independence. It’s pretty special to have it right here in Baltimore,” said Lance Humphries, Mt. Vernon Place Conservatory.

Old coins and a bible were among the items found inside, but the most important find may be a copy of the Declaration of Independence reprinted in the Federal Gazette.

“I think it was a very exciting find, what we got out of the cornerstone. We found on top of one of the jars a copy of the Declaration of Independence printed in the Federal Gazette the day the cornerstone was laid,” said Humphries.

The cornerstone was discovered by George Wilk of Lewis Contractors.

“It was utter disbelief. With historic properties, there’s always a feeling you’re going to find something. When you find a copper box that you know was put there for a reason, it’s just one of those moments you just know,” said Wilk.

Dozens of artifacts were also found inside a 100-year-old time capsule and handled with the greatest of care.

“The 100-year-old time capsule was the first item we found. One of those moments I decided to put the plaque back and contacted Dr. Humphries and went from there,” said Wilk.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 4.

“We’re going to have a big celebration as we reopen the monument on the Fourth of July. It will be a day long festival in Mt. Vernon Place,” said Humphries.

That’s when the Washington Monument will be rededicated and reopened.

“We will have all kinds of wonderful activities. It will be a great celebration for the city and the country,” said Fran Millspaugh, Monumental Bicentennial Committee.

“We have a lot of dignitaries coming to the July 4 event. We’ll have a large fair running from 11:30 a.m. til 5 p.m. It will be a family friendly event,” said Millspaugh.

Besides a ribbon cutting and country fair, the reopening of the Washington Monument on July 4 will include a naturalization ceremony where 40 people will become U.S. citizens.


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