Abraham Lincoln has a secret buried at his feet.
That's the Abe who stands tall near the entrance to Grandview Park at 24th Street and Grandview Boulevard.
I was reminded that Sioux City had a time capsule after Mike Brink emailed the Journal asking if the container had been opened. He did not recall when it had been buried at the park, or why.
According to Grace Linden at the Sioux City Public Museum's research center, city leaders buried it to commemorate Sioux City's centennial on July 31, 1954. The capsule is to be opened July 31, 2054.
On that date in 1954, the Journal published a photograph showing Russell Robison, co-chairman of special events for the centennial and president of the Engineers Club, lowering the container into an 8-foot hole in front of the statue. Mayor George Young looked on with other dignitaries.
More than 125 items were packed inside a 2-foot by 2-foot stainless steel cube.
The contents include the centennial souvenir program; The Journal's centennial edition; names of Brothers of the Brush and Centennial Belles; family histories; the names of civic organizations, churches, businesses and industries operating in 1954, and voice recordings of citizens.
Will those recordings survive 100 years? And who were the Brothers and Belles?
According to the program, the three-day extravaganza included performances of "CENTURAMA," a play about Sioux City's founding. My favorite event has to be the Mayor's Milking Contest. Mayor Young challenged Siouxland mayors to see who could obtain the most milk from a cow in two minutes.
Since it will be a younger generation than mine that will attend the opening of that time capsule in 43 years, perhaps we ought to place items in a 2011 time capsule, to be opened in 100 years. What to include?
How about colorful beads from the Krewe de Charlie Sioux's Big Parade, a ticket from the Elton John concert, campaign stickers from presidential hopefuls fishing for caucus votes, an Explorer's baseball and a Musketeers' hockey puck?
We could include the programs from the Sioux City Art Center's upcoming Leonardo da Vinci exhibit and the opening of the new Sioux City Public Museum.
The time capsule would have room for coupons for a Green Gables famous hot fudge sundae and one of Milwaukee Weiner's "dogs." Let's throw in a Twin Bing bar and a bag of Jolly Time popcorn.
We should include an envelope with a Sioux City postmark, one of the last of its kind if the U.S. Postal Service shuts down the local mail processing center and ships the work -- and our postmark -- to Sioux Falls as planned.
And we should add an empty sandbag and a Journal video showing the flooding of 2011 and the thousands of volunteers who helped their neighbors.
Electronic notebooks are taking the place of their heftier counterparts, raising the question of whether people in the 22nd Century will read hard-cover books.
But why not add a weighty tome like a city budget book? That document could serve as an anchor to hold the time capsule in place should another 500-year flood inundate the community.