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Atrium Health Navicent Opens Time Capsules from 1916 and 1973

Photos, newspapers, coins and historic records among time capsules’ contents

Fifty years ago today, on a cold 58-degree afternoon, two time capsules were entombed in a vault outside what is now Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center. One is dated Feb. 28, 1973, and the other is from 1916. Encased in copper, the time capsules were buried with instructions that they should be opened on Feb. 28, 2023.

Adults alive in 1973 will remember “The Poseidon Adventure” dominating the box office. Macon’s favorite musical sons, the Allman Brothers Band, were living at The Big House that year and enjoying the success of their first No. 1 album,

“Brothers and Sisters.” The Vietnam War had just ended, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its verdict on Roe v. Wade and gasoline was a mere 40 cents a gallon.

Locally, Ronnie Thompson was mayor of Macon and the “biggest snowstorm in Macon’s history” was making headlines in the newspaper. You can read all about it, as the Feb. 18, 1973, special snow edition of The Macon Telegraph and News was included in the box.

Other items stored away include photos, an Ocmulgee National Monument seal, uncirculated 1972 coins, a Sidney Lanier stamp debuted in 1972, a copy of the Oct. 30, 1916 edition of The Macon News and deeds for the plots of land that now make up the Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center campus in downtown Macon.

“It’s an incredible experience to see and touch these items placed in the time capsules 50 and 100 years ago, and to reflect on the rich history of what is now Atrium Health Navicent,” said Atrium Health Navicent President Delvecchio Finley. “So much of what’s great about our health system today was built on the foundation of the work of the teammates who’ve gone before us. Now, it’s our turn to drive for excellence, not just to provide high-quality care close to home, but for future generations.”

The 1916 time capsule, originally placed in a hospital cornerstone, was discovered in 1971. Some of the items from inside went on display inside the hospital, while others were resealed and buried along with the 1973 time capsule to be opened in 2023.

Plans are underway to collect items for a 2023 time capsule to be buried later this year.

“First founded as the Macon Hospital in 1895, Atrium Health Navicent has been helping the people of central Georgia to live healthier lives for more than 125 years. These time capsules serve as a reminder of that legacy and of the legacy that our teammates are creating now for the future of central Georgia,” said Atrium Health Navient Board Chair Starr Purdue.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent is part of Advocate Health, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit