ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — The city of Orlando on Tuesday opened a time capsule that was found as crews removed a Confederate statue called “Johnny Reb” from Lake Eola Park in June.
The rusty metal box was opened and immediately it became clear that the items, made mostly of paper, were in remarkably good condition.
The capsule included a Confederate States $10 bill, three newspapers, a couple of miniature Confederate flags, two lapel pins and the minutes of a 1910 United Daughters of The Confederacy State convention, that may include an explanation of the reason behind the statue and its donation to the city.
The time capsule is about the size of a small money box, weighs about three pounds and may have been in the statue for more than 100 years.
An Orlando chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy says the time capsule belongs to them.
The Daughters of the Confederacy claimed that because their organization was the one to originally commission the statue, the capsule should belong to them.
In June, the UDC filed a suit against the city to prevent the time capsule from being opened, and to provide the contents to the organizations, which means the history of the metal box may now include a day in court.
The statue is being moved to Greenwood Cemetery following public outcry that it’s a symbol of racism and white supremacy.
The statue was originally located on Magnolia Avenue before it was moved to Lake Eola Park in 1917. It has been in Orlando since 1911.
The city’s intends to turn the contents of the time capsule over to the regional history center.
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