Lite of the mind (a light-hearted look at all things Chicago)

Time warp

By Amy Braverman Puma

This past August the Law School excavated a 1958 time capsule—yes, a year late—from the Laird Bell Law Quadrangle’s cornerstone, carefully opening letters from mid-century luminaries such as Supreme Court Justices William O. Douglas and John M. Harlan, Judge Learned Hand, and Manhattan Project physicist Edward Teller. Also in the copper boxes: a May 28, 1958, Chicago Tribune clipping headlined “A New Law School”; a list of graduates from 1903 to 1958; and other memorabilia.

For its next time capsule, the school plans to bury typical contents of a student backpack. The Magazine staff pondered that challenge, considering items students might have carried back then (1958–60), now (2010), and 50 years from now (2060). Send your suggestions for the Magazine’s list to, subject “time capsule.”

Find the chart below too small to read? View the hi-res pdf.