UNC-Chapel Hill Honors 100-Year-Old Request For Living Time Capsule

Apr 3, 2015

In 1915, former UNC President Kemp Plummer Battle sent a sealed box to the North Carolina Historical Society that contained two items: a letter and a Montgomery Ward catalog.

He wanted these objects to serve as an impetus for reflection on the past at two distinct points in the future—1965 and 2015. In 1965, Chancellor Robert B. House honored the request with an essay detailing major changes he had witnessed in the past 50 years. But this year, the UNC-Chapel Hill History Department is taking a more playful approach. They have asked four faculty members from distinct backgrounds to reflect on changes in American society from their perspective—from a look at leisure in America to an examination of modern-day advertising.  

Host Frank Stasio talks with Fitz Brundage, chair and professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, about the unique request and the modern day attempt to document the changes in American society and economy. 

The first event in the Battle/Montgomery Ward Catalog Challenge will be held at UNC-Chapel Hill's Wilson Library Wednesday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m.