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More than half a century ago, detailed plans were executed at Oglethorpe University, then on the outskirts of Atlanta, to build an extraordinary time capsule designed to store records for more than six thousand years. Done on an epic scale never before conceived, the result was the Oglethorpe Atlanta Crypt of Civilization, "the first successful attempt to bury a record for any future inhabitants." 1 The visionary of this improbable quest was Dr. Thornwell Jacobs (1877-1956), who has been called "the father of the modern time capsule." 2
The American Rolling Mill in Middleton, Ohio, furnished the stainless steel for a plaque and the door. Oglethorpe University extended to David Sarnoff, president of the Radio Corporation of America, an invitation to dedicate the door on May 28, 1938.
According to Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year's Day fell on July 20 in the Julian Calendar in 139 CE, which was a heliacal rising of Sirius in Egypt. From this it is possible to calculate that the previous occasion on which this occurred was 1322 BC, and the one before that was 2782 BCE. This latter date has been postulated as the time when the calendar was invented, but Djer's reign preceded that date. Other historians push it back another whole cycle, to 4242 BCE.