The items that have been stored inside a time capsule since 1887 have finally been revealed.
The capsule was found last week at the base of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia.
Gov. Ralph Northam Wednesday afternoon lifted the lid of the capsule to reveal the items, according to a live feed from CNN affiliate WTVR.
Historic preservation experts found an 1875 almanac, two other withered books, a cloth envelope, and a coin. All of which were wet and are now being handled cautiously.
They worked carefully to remove the items from the capsule to make sure they stayed preserved.
The process to open the box started at around 10 a.m. and took several hours to complete. Experts pried away at the lead capsule with various tools and machinery.
Northam arrived at the facility around 12:30 p.m., but later left as the process was taking longer than expected. He then returned around 3 p.m. when the box was finally ready to be opened.
History of the time capsule
Workers found the time capsule on December 17 while dismantling the 40-foot pedestal on Monument Avenue in Richmond, according to a news release from Northam’s office.
The 12-ton statue of Lee on his horse, which was removed in September, became a focal point for racial justice protests in Richmond — the former capital of the Confederacy.
The time capsule was found in the tower of the pedestal about 20 feet above ground level.
Officials had thought it was encased in the base of the pedestal, and in September crews used cranes and other heavy equipment to move 21 granite blocks, including some that weighed up to 8,000 pounds.
Workers also dug a large 5-foot-deep hole near the cornerstone of the pedestal in hopes of finding the time capsule.
Historians believe the time capsule was placed on October 27, 1887, and included about 60 items that were donated by 37 Richmond residents, many of which were related to the Confederacy, according to the governor’s office.
The state plans to store the pedestal until officials decide what to do with the partial monument.
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.