SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sen. Chuck Grassley and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would allow the Architect of the Capitol to bury a time capsule under the U.S. Capitol’s west lawn in 2026.
2026 will mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. The time capsule would be a celebration of that semiquincentennial, and would stay sealed until 2276, the country’s 500th anniversary.
“History teaches us invaluable lessons,” Grassley said. “It’s our responsibility to learn from the people and events that came before us, and to preserve those accounts for future generations. Burying a time capsule on the anniversary of the day the Founding Fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence would honor their mark on our nation and serve as a way to document the milestones still to come.”
Under the bill, the House Speaker and Minority Leader, as well as the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, would decide the contents of the time capsule. These could include symbols of important legislation, a message from the current Congress, and other historical memorabilia.
Additional cosponsors include Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) is leading the House companion bill.
The text of the Semiquincentennial Time Capsule Act is available here.