Klein, Texas – Northampton Elementary School celebrated its 50th anniversary this past Tuesday, October 19, and held a retro-themed party for kids, parents, and faculty to celebrate the milestone. The event got a special surprise when in the days leading up to it a staff member found a time capsule in a closet while looking for materials for the party. The 25-year-old capsule was an exciting and fitting addition to the party where it was opened and unpacked by Principal Lisa Campbell and a handful of students and teachers.
The time capsule consisted of a gray Tupperware bin and contained an assortment of ordinary objects from 1996 as well as some more momentous additions. One teacher at the party, Cathleen Wheir, was there when the time capsule was assembled and still remembers putting in a Principal’s Pride Award.
The current principal was surprised to find a letter from then Vice President Al Gore congratulating the school on its 25-year anniversary, along with the program from that celebration. A faculty photo accompanied several polaroid photos of students and the school and a VHS tape captured the students performing a play, though the adults laughed about how they had no way to play the tape. The students added a list of not-too-unfamiliar fashion fads of the time including backpack purses, rollerblades, Nike shoes, and Houston Rockets jerseys.
There was a dozen or two sports cards featuring prominent Houston-area athletes of the time such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Ray Childress, Jeff Bagwell, and more, with Olajuwon having by far the most cards. Ordinary documentation of the era was added to the time capsule, such as Sunday comics, clippings from the Houston Chronicle, and the school’s lunch menus.
Technology from the mid-90s made an appearance, confusing many of the students who were born well after the objects became obsolete. One student had no answer when presented with a floppy disc and another thought a VHS tape was Scotch tape. The student who pulled out a Hootie & the Blowfish CD, however, did know he was holding a CD. And amidst all of the unrecognizable electronics, the entire room cheered when the principal pulled out a Goosebumps book.